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FBI Mayberry Machiavellians pushed Sanders under the bus by swiping Hillary "emailgate" dirt under the carpet, then used a dirty trick with dossier created by FBI contactor Fusion GPS to launch Russiagate investigation, put members of Trump team under surveillance, and eventually managed to appoint the Special Prosecutor to paralyze Trump administration and possibly depose Trump
|News||Trump vs. Deep State||Recommended Links||Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats||Steele dossier||FISA Memo scandal||Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool||Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition||Brennan elections machinations|
|Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest||Russiagate: Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition||Brennan elections machinations||Stephan Halper and attempts to entrap members of Trump team||Joseph Misfud and MI6 connection to Russiagate||Deripaska and Steele connection||Carter Page||Infiltration of Trump campaign||Attempts to entrap Trump|
|Papadopoulos entrapment||FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga||FBI contractor Fusion GPS||Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap?||Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections||Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump||"Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections||Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration||Clapper role in putsch|
|How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal||Do the US intelligence agencies influence the US Presidential elections ?||The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies||FBI Mayberry Machiavellians||Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime"||James "We are not weasels" Comey||DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin||Rosenstein key role in putsch against Trump||Gina Haspel|
|Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit||MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution||US and British media are servants of security apparatus||Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book||Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few||MSM as fake news industry||NeoMcCartyism||Anti Trump Hysteria||Michael Flynn removal from the Trump team|
|The Deep State||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners||Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?||The Real War on Reality||Media as a weapon of mass deception||"democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair||Two Party System as polyarchy||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak|
|Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||New American Militarism||Neoconservatism||Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich||Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite||Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters||Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite|
|Wolff revelations||National Security State||The Iron Law of Oligarchy||Color revolutions||CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations||Skeptic Quotations||Politically Incorrect Humor||Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy|
|The officials who exchanged the messages - senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page -
once worked for Mueller's team and were key players in a prior investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's
use of a private email server.
... Strzok was removed from Mueller's team in late July when his bosses found out about the texts.
The Washington Post, Dec 13, 2017Yesterday, it was reported the 'Steele Dossier' was used as the underlying foundation for the DOJ and FBI to seek FISA Court Approvals to monitor the communications of the Trump campaign.
In essence, as of yesterday, [it was established that] the FBI used Clinton opposition research -- via Fusion GPS -- on candidate Donald Trump, to generate surveillance authority over her political opponent.
The Last Refuge, Jan 11, 2017
From Mayberry Machiavellians point of view, separation of powers is divisive, tolerance a luxury, fairness is another word for weakness, and cooperation unnecessary. The term means extreme ruthlessness and putting the attainment and preservation of power ahead of any other consideration. Plenty of maxims that are also tossed about frequently in media are to be found in Machiavelli's book: "the end justifies the means," "it is better to be feared than loved," "if you fight the prince, kill the prince" to name a few.
The term "Strzok-gate" suggests that a part of FBI top brass (and a faction of Department of Justice, including Loretta Lynch, AG, Sally Yates, deputy AG, and Bruce Ohr, associate deputy AG), are guilty of bias, corruption, and attempt to interfere with the US Presidential elections. In view of this we now can completely reexamine Hillary Clinton's private email server scandal( aka "Hillary bathroom server", see How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal). It now is clear that they pushed Sanders under the bus, depriving him of the chance to became the candidate from the Democratic Party. After surprising Trump victory this operation evolved into color revolution against Trump -- so called Russiagate. The key part of which was Special Prosecutor Mueller investigation (or more correctly witch hunt) to discredit Trump:
This gambit with sacrificing Comey to appoint Special prosecutor for Trump was a textbook color revolution operation. After that McCabe organized a meeting win which he pressed Rosenstein to appoint Special Prosecutor as he admitted himself (C-span Feb 26 2019 18:37). In other words along with Obama and Brennan McCabe was one of the key figured of the putsch.
Here is one hypothesis about this operation, which is called in this source the operation "Crossfire Hurricane" ( CIA Director Gina Haspel is Complicit with the Coup, Mar 13, 2019)
Mar 13, 2019 | patriots4truth.org
Keep in mind, Peter Strzok was a CIA Regional Director who John Brennan appointed as the head of Crossfire Hurricane, the CIA counter-intelligence operation to "take out" candidate Trump – later it became the Mueller Witch Hunt after 13 different iterations spanning:
the CIA (John Brennan),
FBI (James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Baker, etc.),
DoJ (Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Andrew Weisseman),
State Department (Victoria Nuland, Jonathon Winer, Hilary Clinton, John Kerry),
ODNS (James Clapper),
NSA (Admiral Mike Rogers)
and the White House senior staff (directly to Obama, Biden, Jarret, Rice, Powers, etc.).
Bill Preistap was the supervisor for Strzok and Lisa Page who also worked for John Carlin in the Department of Justice National Security Division under Sally Yates. Then Strozk and Page continued their CIA operation as they were appointed to Mueller's Special Council Investigation.
Gina Haspel worked directly for the instigator of the Crossfire Hurricane operation – John Brennan. It would have been impossible for Haspel not to have known about the British spying from London since it was reported in UK newspaper on a weekly basis. She certainly was controlling Stefan Halper, Josef Mifsud, Stephan Roh, Alexander Downer, Andrew Wood, John McCain, Mark Warner, Adam Schiff and the other conspirators.
All of these facts are well known and reported in open source documents. As the 53 testimonies of the House Intelligence Committee are released, we will see the house of cards all fall down and Gina Haspel will go with it.
Therefore at the core of Strzok-gate is derailing Sanders candidacy in 2016 Presidential elections as well as fueling artificial Russiagate witch hunt. in order to appoint special Prosecutor to detail and possibly impeach Trump ("Insurance")
Now we have a couple of facts that suggest that this so called DNC hack, was actually a leak and most probably was a vicious false flag operation.
From what we know as of January 2019 the operational part of Strzok-gate (a part of a more broad operation Crossfire Hurricane which involved the government of GB, NATO and several other counties such as Ukraine, Australia and Estonia, if you wish) consists of at least following overlapping false flag and entrapment operations most of which were taken directly from Gene Sharp books on color revolutions (listed not exactly in chronological order):
In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the "zersetzung" tactic. The idea was to *induce* a "personal crisis" through clandestine harassment, including at the hands of acquaintances secretly recruited by the Stasi. In other words, ... trying to cause *real* mental illness by relentlessly gaslighting selected individual dissidents until they cracked.
Judging from this list Peter Strzok has a lot to answer for and first of all for undermining the remnants of republic and democracy and turning the USA into what Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarism" -- a totalitarian flavor of neoliberalism that reminds more Brave New World then Nineteen Eighty-Four:
"One cannot point to any national institution[s] that can accurately be described as democratic... surely not in the highly managed, money-saturated elections, the lobby-infested Congress, the imperial presidency, the class-biased judicial and penal system, or, least of all, the media."
|We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality – judiciously,
as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out.
We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Cited via The Atlantic ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."
Wolin showed us all the realities of decimation of the remnants of the US democracy after conversion of the USA from the republic to empire. But he missed the key role of intelligence agencies in this process. Looks like powerful intelligence agencies are incomparable with both with the Republican form of government and with the Democracy (even in emasculated form offered by two party system).
In other words the mere fact of creating of powerful centralized intelligence agencies by Truman shortened the life of the American experiment in democracy and the Republican form of government once and forever, because as Eisenhower warned military-industrial complex (of which intelligence agencies are vital part) soon start to rule the country. Both FBI ( J. Edgar Hoover ) and CIA (Allen Dulles ) quickly emerged as kingmakers. Like any large bureaucracy intelligence agencies at their core are political coalitions designed to enhance and maintain their own power and prosperity, and, as such, they quickly emerged as powerful politician players (the Deep State). As such they represent a threat to any democracy. See also the Iron Law of Oligarchy.
In this new social system the American people no longer have a luxury of electing President they want; all they can do is to vote for one of the candidates the Deep State selected for them. And if they make a mistake and "undesirable" for the Deep state candidate emerged, as was case with Trump, there will be attempts to "correct it." As color revolution against Trump had shown us this is a relatively easy task: using Special Prosecutor the President can be emasculated, and the deep shadow can thrown on his administration which iether paralyze it, of force it to surrender. In case of Trump we observed the latter three months after his inauguration.
Like was the case with Bolshevism in the USSR the triumph of neoliberal propaganda machine and concentration of Us MSM in a half dozen large Us corporations has brought into being a vast system of political intimidation of any adversary of neoliberalism and globalization. Remember that the bully does not really care what you believe; he/she just forces you behave the way he wants facing the fact that have no choice. That's how Bolshevism works in the USSR, this is how neoliberalism works in the USA (being a flavor of Trotskyism they inhered vast arsenal of totalitarian methods and myths too; many among first generation of neocons in the USA were former Trotskyites; like Bolsheviks they also were overrepresented by "Jewish intelligencia" )
Intimidation of elected official via Special Prosecutor appointment on false pretences is the exercise of raw power. Essentially bulling the politician. The systematic uses of false flag events can distort reality to the extent which was previously possible only under Bolshevism. Consider the finding of passports (or identity papers) "accidentally" left by terrorists after their deaths through police shooting, before they can be interrogated. Those are real signals of ultimate power of the "Deep State." And as Dr. Udo Ulfkotte had shown news media editors and journalists are co-conspirators at best, active participants at worst (see also US and British media are servants of security apparatus )
In this case it is clear that FBI undermined even few remnants of the Republican form of government (governance by elected officials, instead of appointees of some unelected clique, or as they were called in the Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four the "Inner Party") which survived the onslaught of neoliberalism. No deviation from imperial policies are allowed for elected candidates. No new polices can be proposed by candidates if he/she want to represent one of two wings of the Neoliberal UniParty, even if deviations from the Neoliberalism are very limited and do not touch foreign policy aspects (neoliberal globalization and the maintenance and enlargement of the US-led global neoliberal empire) like was the case with Sanders. And Sanders was definitely a member of the elite, not some random guy from nowhere. Now we see the same mechanism and methods were deployed against Tulsi Gabbard -- the only anti-war candidate among the dozen Democratic Candidates, who like mushrooms emerged after Hillary political career as the main establishment candidate from the Democratic Party was ended by 2016 fiasco.
The election of Trump was the middle finger that the US people had shown to the US neoliberal elite, the rejection of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization by large swats of the US society. The natural reaction of the elite in such cases is to find external scapegoat who is accused is all ills and to use hate against this scapegoat to deflect ager at the elite and calls for the internal "regime change". As Russia is still associated with the evil USSR in minds of many Americans it represent a viable scapegoat, which was readily used in this case. Initially to divert attention from Hillary fiasco and blame it on external forces as Podesta suggested. Later the scope became more broad and anti-Russian witch hunt more vicious. Just contacts with Russian officials became criminal. Standard anti-Semitic accusations were used. As in Clapper "If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically, [are] driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned." ( Observer, May 31, 2017).
Russians, who typically, almost genetically, [are] driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique.
It would be wrong to say that Blacks or Jews are "genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor" But you can make similar claims about Russians – no problems.
The second part of Strzok-gate -- fueling McCarthyism hysteria by false accusing Russia in interference in election while the actual main player here was Great Britain -- is no less dangerous, and even more successful then the first. It poisoned minds of Americans with anti-Russian propaganda memes for decades to come and pushed the country on the war path advocated by neocons and MIC. The damage is probably irreversible and can lead to the collapse of human civilization, as we know it as the result of WWIII. As Biney aptly said on Jan 1, 2018 ( https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/01/the-still-missing-evidence-of-russia-gate/ ):
"Ultimately, my main concern is that it could lead to actual war with Russia. We should definitely not be going down that path. We need to get out of all these wars. I am also concerned about what we are doing to our own democracy. We are trampling the fundamental principles contained in the Constitution. The only way to reverse all this is to start indicting people who are participating in and managing these activities that are clearly unconstitutional."IMHO the current neo-McCarthyism campaign initially was deployed in a more limited scope -- just to solve some internal problems within the Democratic Party (rejection by electorate and subsequent political fiasco of Hillary Clinton). It is later via CIA-controlled MSM it became the tool for cementing cracks in the neoliberal society and averting the coming revolt of the US population against the ruling neoliberal elite, which is viewed by most Americans as a hostile occupying force, which destroyed their standard of living, eliminated jobs, raised cost of healthcare and education to stratospheric levels and pushed many Americans in despair and narco-epidemic, which in its scope and affected strata of population reminds us the epidemic of alcoholism in the USSR in 1980th.
Demonizing the enemy, according to Disney historian Leonard Maltin, "relieves aggression.
You can't blame Trump victory on Russia. It is a sign of systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA, somewhat similar to the crisis of Marxism the USSR experienced after 1980 which lasted until its dissolution. Rust Belt voters rejected Hillary and rejected neoliberal globalization. That was it.
In such crisis the elite is de-legitimized and often resort to dirty tricks to regain the lost legitimacy. A war is one such trick. Neo-McCarthyism campaign is another. Of course Russia in far from being a saint and bear responsibility for unleashing the civil war in Donbass (and generally destabilizing Ukraine -- it is a curse to be a neighbor our of such a large and powerful country; Canadians and Mexicans probably think the same ;-) , but what currently we see in major MSM looks to me like a classic witch hunt with the implicit goal to whitewash humiliating for neoliberal Democrats (Clinton wing of the party) defeat and blame it on the external force (Putin really serves as "Deus ex machina" for any fiasco of Democratic Party -- which converted itself into the second War Party ;-)
We can view Strzok-gate as an important, if not critical part of this dirty propaganda game which reminds methods that were use by Goebbels and STASI.
There is some direct evidence that Strzokgate (gambit to appoint Special Prosecutor and associated Russian hysteria smokescreen) is just a tip of the iceberg of the transnational operation of neoliberal elite to remove or coerce President Trump.
Strzokgate was the key part of the color revolution against Trump. But people who analyze those events mentions more broad then Strzokgate special operation (called "Crossfire Hurricane" ) and which involved governments and intelligence agencies of two countries -- UK and the USA with the support of NATO headquarters, governments of Ukraine (intelligence agencies of which can easily impersonate Russians and are ideal for false flag operations which can be attributed to Russia) and several Baltic countries (especially Estonia), as well as all five eyes intelligent agencies.
British reaction on the possibility of Trump reversing neoliberal globalization as well as disband NATO was sharp and their involvement was really massive (GCHQ, MI6, Foreign Office) and went far beyond Steele dossier. Only one episode is known with some level of certainty. It was the visit of Strzok to London (were Gina Haspel, the current CIA director, was at the time residing).
Operation Crossfire Hurricane FBI Sent Strzok On Secret Mission To London Before Election Zero Hedge
The New York Times is out with a puff piece ahead of the highly anticipated DOJ Inspector General report expected any day now detailing the FBI's (mis)conduct during the 2016 US election. The Times piece is brought to you by yet more leaks from the FBI, with their account of the operation against the Trump campaign prior to former Director Comey's firing and the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.
- The FBI's codename for the operation which began 100 days before the US election was Crossfire Hurricane, in reference to a lyric in the Rolling Stones song Jumpin' Jack Flash.
- The FBI sent counterintelligence agents, one of whom was Peter Strzok, to London in the summer of 2016 to meet with Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, to describe his meeting with Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos.
- The meeting with Downer was described as "highly unusual," and "helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation."
- The FBI kept details of the operation secret from most of the DOJ - with "only about five Justice Department officials" aware of the full scope of the case.
Fearful of leaks, they kept details from political appointees across the street at the Justice Department. Peter Strzok, a senior FBI. agent, explained in a text that Justice Department officials would find it too "tasty" to resist sharing. "I'm not worried about our side," he wrote. - NYT
It was an assignment so secretive that Peter Strzok giddily texted his side piece about it on an unsecured line. It's also weird for NYT to characterize the meeting as "not yet reported" seeing as how Strzok's texts about it have been out for months. https://t.co/lbvTZksLJr pic.twitter.com/QSA7TedpTM-- Sean Davis (@seanmdav) May 16, 2018
- Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was under investigation, along with Paul Manafort and another advisor "suspected of being a Russian agent himself."
- Christopher Steele's anti-Trump dossier memos didn't reach the FBI until mid-September 2016.
The FBI. bureaucracy did agents no favors. In July, a retired British spy named Christopher Steele approached a friend in the FBI overseas and provided reports linking Trump campaign officials to Russia. But the documents meandered around the F.B.I. organizational chart, former officials said. Only in mid-September, congressional investigators say, did the records reach the Crossfire Hurricane team .
- Strzok texted his mistress Lisa Page with doubts over the case.
"I cannot believe we are seriously looking at these allegations and the pervasive connections," Mr. Strzok wrote soon after returning from London.
- Donald Trump was not under investigation, "but his actions perplexed the agents."
" A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump's advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government's disruptive efforts. "
"It's like the deep state all got together to try to orchestrate a palace coup," Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, said in January on Fox Business Network.
Wikipedia, which for this topic can be viewed as CIApedia provides a good summary of charges (which are supported by available facts and thus represent opinion of any skeptical observer of Strzok-gate):
In the wake of the publication of Strzok's messages, Fox News intensified its anti-Mueller rhetoric, and its political commentator Jesse Watters said that the investigation now amounted to a coup against President Trump, if "the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes". One guest on Fox's talk and news show Outnumbered, Kevin Jackson, speculated that Strzok's messages were evidence of a plot by FBI agents to make "an assassination attempt or whatever" against President Trump, which other Fox hosts quickly contradicted and said was not "credible".
Fox News figures referred to the investigation as "corrupt", "crooked" and "illegitimate", and likened the FBI to the KGB, the Soviet-era spy organization that routinely tortured and summarily executed people. Political scientists and scholars of coups described the Fox News rhetoric as scary and dangerous. Experts on coups rejected that Mueller's investigation amounted to a coup; rather the Fox News rhetoric was dangerous to democracy and mirrored the kind of rhetoric that occurs before purges.
The text messages were featured in the Fox News Channel's rhetoric criticizing Mueller's investigation and urging President Donald Trump to fire Mueller. Sources close to the White House told Politico that such rhetoric was intended to give Trump political cover to issue pardons to those involved in Mueller's investigation.
As we can see there are four main charges which we will reformulate as following:
The term "Strzok-gate" was used by Alexander Mercouris as the title of his article in Duran written Dec 10, 2017 Strzok-gate and the Mueller cover-up. Which covers only one part of the story -- the launching of Russiagate using Steele dossier as a pretext which eventually resulted in appointment of the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump.
He missed the other, in my opinion, more important part: Strzok role in pushing Sanders under the bus and thus really changing the dynamics of the US Presidential election. In a way FBI "the gang of three" (Comey, McCabe and Strzok) acted as kingmakers, which in a way secured Trump victory by promoting rabid warmonger with health problems as a candidate from Democratic Party.
We well briefly discuss five issues that are encompassed by the term Strzok-gate, as used on this page. Please understand that very few facts are known This is an amateur work which was done in my own free time. Here are the five issues that I think needs to be known and discussed:
Pressed by Wallace, Rosenstein was reduced to tautology: Mueller is not engaged in a "fishing expedition," you see, because "the special counsel is subject to the rules and regulations of the Department of Justice, and we don't engage in fishing expeditions."
I see. This, er, explanation put me in mind of a defense lawyer I once encountered while prosecuting a terrorism case. The defendant, he explained, could not be a terrorist because the lawyer's firm did not represent terrorists. Pretty compelling, no?
Unfortunately, Wallace did not engage the DAG on the fundamental flaw in his appointment of Mueller. Rosenstein maintains that DOJ officials (presumably including himself) are subject to "the rules and regulations of the Department of Justice." Yet, those rules and regulations expressly mandate that there be a basis for a criminal investigation or prosecution before a special counsel is appointed. The appropriate scope of the investigation is not supposed to be something to which the DAG and the special counsel agree in off-the-record conversations. It is governed by what is supposed to be the specified predicate for a criminal investigation without which there should be no special-counsel appointment in the first place.
Don't take my word for it. The regulation, 28 CFR Sec. 600.1, states that the Justice Department may appoint a special counsel when it is "determine[d] that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted," and that the Justice Department's handling of "that investigation or prosecution of that person or matter" in the normal course "would present a conflict of interest for the Department" (emphasis added). The regulation does not permit the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel in order to determine whether there is a basis for a criminal investigation. To the contrary, the basis for a criminal investigation must pre-exist the appointment. It is the criminal investigation that triggers the special counsel, not the other way around.
Rosenstein, instead, appointed a special counsel and unleashed him to sniff around and see if he could come up with a crime.
It is specious to claim, as Rosenstein does, that his citation of the Russia counterintelligence investigation is a sufficiently definite statement of the scope of the investigation. As we have frequently pointed out, a counterintelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation. There need be no suspicion of crime before a counterintelligence probe is commenced. The purpose of the latter is to collect information about a foreign power, not to investigate a suspected crime. As shown above, however, the need to probe a specific suspected crime is, by regulation, the prerequisite for appointing a special counsel.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450230/rod-rosenstein-mueller-investigation-claims-its-limited-dont-stand
|I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he gets elected - but
I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40.
Strzok's instant message to Lisa Page which
was released along with many others in Dec 2017
Please understand that public knows very little about Strzokgate and probably will never know much; and this page is just a summary of open sources. Based on available open sources the idea of "insurance" for the Mayberry Machiavellians at FBI looks like the central issue of Strzok-gate. What kind of insurance Peter Strzok meant is currently unclear. Most probably some dirty trick or false flag operation (As of December 2017 we have facts that allow to view Russiagate as a false flag operation) in order to appoint Special Prosecutor. It looks like this operation with the code name "Insurance" proceeded in several stages:
There are a couple of YouTube videos that provide some additional insights into Strzok-gate "insurance scam", which I would recommend to watch:
Summarizing it is very interesting that approximately since July 2017 Strzok served as the deputy head of FBI counter-intelligence, and worked on secret matters of espionage involving China and Russia. Making him the major counterpart for CIA and, specifically, Brennan.
He probably also participated in creating of the infamous "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections pushed by Brennan and Clapper. Which in turn played a significant role in the appointment of the special prosecutor, the gambit against Trump played in May 2017.
An important known fact about Peter Strzok is that he was the top investigator of Hillary "emailgate" scandal swiped the dirt under the carpet. Which allowed Comey to exonerate her just before Democratic Convention ( Anti-Trump FBI Agent Changed Language Of Hillary Email Scandal From Grossly Negligent To Extremely Careless )
Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the source said. The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter.
If this was not an interference in the US Presidential election by the US intelligence agencies, do not know what it.
As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also was a liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.
Starting on July 10, 2015, Strzok led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. During the investigation, Strzok changed then-FBI Director James Comey's draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" (which is a criminal offense when related to dealing with classified information) to "extremely careless".
A source familiar with FBI supervisory agent Peter Stzrok's involvement in the Hillary Clinton server investigation confirmed CNN's report that he changed 'grossly negligent' to 'extremely careless.
Strzok and his team helped review newly discovered Clinton emails days before Election Day.
Peter Strzok reviewed and cleared the Anthony Weiner-Huma Abedin emails in RECORD TIME before the election and said he FOUND NOTHING.
Strzok was conducted interviews with Hillary Clinton and members of her team involved in emailgate. They all got immunity from prosecution from FBI. Granted immunity to her close cycle (Mills and Abedin) was extremely important for shutting down the investigation.
This change of Comey's statement definition of Hillary actions from "gross negligence" which is a criminal action if you work with classified documents to "extreme carelessness" was critical in exonerating Hillary and, taking into account the level of corruption of DNC, in throwing Sanders under the bus.
In July 2016 Strzok signed a document opening the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. That's open road to use of Steele Dossier as a pretext to wiretapping of Trump team during the elections
It has also been revealed that Strzok was the FBI agent who interviewed both Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's two top aides. Mills and Abedin made misleading statements to the FBI in that interview but went unpunished.
All Clinton associates were given immunity from prosecution by FBI.
Another important know fact is that Strzok gave Hillary Clinton a unique "get out of jail" chance by editing Comey's statement. He changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the sources said.
The federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for "gross negligence."
Strzok played important role in using Steele dossier as a pretext to wiretapping of Trump team during the elections. James Rosen suggests he has CIA connections as well. It would be strange if he has none, just based on his job description at FBI.
CNN reported that Strzok was the FBI official who signed the document officially opening an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to sources familiar with the matter. As the No. 2 official in counterintelligence, Strzok was considered to be one of the bureau's top experts on Russia.
Most probable he was just a hired gun who received certain "recommendations" as this was part of the efforts of Obama administration to find dirt on Trump and derail his election campaign ( see also Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations? ):
And likely there were others.
Steele dossier which was created by former MI6 agent probably with at least tacit approval and support of MI6 and this is a matter that affects both British-Russian British-USA relations and in such matters Steele could not make any decision on his own, no matter how greedy and beholden to Hillary Clinton he was. This is like bombing Kremlin and expecting that Russian will not notice.
As Daily Mail noted Russian embassy issues dark tweet about Christopher Steele scandal Daily Mail Online
'MI6 officers are never ex'
... Downing Street refused to be drawn on whether the government had offered any assistance to Steele.
So it was British government agency which approved hatchet job to discredit Trump and ensure Hillary Clinton victory (in which GB government was very interested). Look How BBC presented it on Mar 30, 2017: Trump Russia dossier key claim 'verified'. Guardian took a very similar stance Christopher Steele believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is 70-90% accurate US news The Guardian. So British establishment rallied behind the author of the dossier. The fact that Luke Harding published book on the topic also confirm that suspicion that this was at least partially the government-sponsored operation in which Steele played the role of patsy. For British government that stated in Hillary victory and later in removing Trump are sufficiently high to scarifies the relations with Russia (which already reached a very low point, close to the worst possible without declaration of war).
When the dossier was created it quickly found its way to Strzok desk (birds of feather think similarly, do no they)
As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.
House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.
The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, D-Calif., has sought documents and witnesses from the Department of Justice and FBI to determine what role, if any, the dossier played in the move to place a Trump campaign associate under foreign surveillance.
Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was "documentary evidence" that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.
In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning, sources said.
While Strzok's removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators. The denial of access to Strzok was instead predicated, sources said, on broad "personnel" grounds.
When a month had elapsed, House investigators – having issued three subpoenas for various witnesses and documents – formally recommended to Nunes that DOJ and FBI be held in contempt of Congress. Nunes continued pressing DOJ, including a conversation with Rosenstein as recently as last Wednesday.
Did FBI paid Steele additional money for the dossier is currently unclear.
The meeting took place in June 2018. If was organized by FBI contractor Fusion GPS (which might also has CIA ties via some associates and is in the center Steele dossier scandal and Strzokgate) and as such might be an attempt of entrapment.
Natalia Veselnitskaya was initially denied entry into the United States, only to be allowed in under "extraordinary circumstances" by Obama's Homeland Security Department and approved by former AG Loretta Lynch so she could represent Fusion GPS client Denis Katsyv's company, Prevezon Holdings - and attend the meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. - arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone.
It is really interesting and not well know fact that it was a Fusion GPS associate British (beware of Brit setting up meetings ;-) "music publicist" Rob Goldstone (who was a tabloid journalist in the past) was the person, who set up this meeting misrepresenting Natalia Veselnitskaya as a person connected with Russian government who might have goods on Hillary. Natalia own interests were more modest -- to lobby against Magnitsky act. That's why meeting was so short. And this Fusion GPS associate was strangely active before the meeting travelling to Russia (probably collecting dirt for Steele dossier in Moscow musical circles ;-):
Goldstone's posts indicate that he was in Moscow 10 days before the 9 June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, and then returned to spend most of that July in Russia and Azerbaijan.
As WaPo stated Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump's outside counsel, alleged that ( The Washington Post July 11, 2017)
the meeting had been set up under false pretenses and implied that Veselnitskaya's association with Fusion GPS was relevant to the alleged deception.
"Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier," Corallo said in a statement.
Even before Trump's legal team suggested the Veselnitskaya meeting was a dirty trick to set up the younger Trump, pro-Trump media outlets had been calling on federal and Senate investigators to look into the activities of the firm, which is run by two former journalists and has done research for both Republicans and Democrats alike.
What is really funny that later " William Browder, the chief of Hermitage Capital ... filed the complaint against Fusion GPS and several other entities he alleges were working on behalf of the Russians." William Browder is suspected to be the former agent on MI6, much like Christopher Steele was. As Josh Rogin wrote ( The Washington Post July 11, 2017) :
Browder told me the he will testify that the fact Veselnitskaya was trying to convince Trump campaign officials and family members to change U.S. policy on Russia clearly shows she was acting as an agent of the Russian government.
... ... ...
Fusion GPS has said that it was working for the law firm BakerHostetler, which was representing Prevezon, a Russian holding company based in Cyprus, in its defense against Justice Department allegations that Prevezon laundered money stolen in the fraud Magnitsky uncovered. Veselnitskaya was Prevezon's lawyer. Fusion GPS started working on the case in 2013 and the case settled in May with no admission of guilt by Prevezon.
... ... ...
Prevezon is owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv. His father, Pyotr Katsyv, was vice premier and minister of transport of Moscow region from 2004 to 2012. Katsyv's deputy minister was Alexander Mitusov, Veselnitskaya's ex husband.
Another funny story is that " Veselnitskaya's meeting with Donald Trump Jr. is not mentioned in Steele dossier that Fusion GPS produced for its American political clients." Despite all super-duper connection the Christopher Steele supposedly has had on the highest levels of the Russian government ;-). Such a James Bond II.
Bannon was not part of Trump organization at this time (he joined the campaign only on Aug 17, 2016, two month later), so why he uttered such suicidal (self-immolating as Karl Rove put it) comments about the meeting he has no first-hand information about is completely unclear. Rage can do such things even if one has no first hand knowledge of the event. Wolff decided to milk the Trump administration and write the book only in Feb 2017. So it is natural that he decided to spice the book with this quote, which was probably made after Bannon ouster is September 2017.
There were eight persons in this very short meeting. One was the translator, as Natalia Veselnitskaya does not speak English (big problem for a Russian agent sent to infiltrate Trump campaign; I do not thing Russian FSB, or whatever agency charged with such things, is that stupid ;-).
Another funny thing about this meeting is that presence of Rob Golstone guaranteed that all information from this meeting goes directly to FBI and Clinton campaign. So are supposed to believe that Russians with (according to Russiagate hysteria) all-seeing and super-capable intelligence agencies did not know who he was and whom he represented.
Actually a couple of hours of Google browsing on this topic convinced me that the main audience of neoliberal MSM such as CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYT, etc are brainwashed dummies, who are incapable or too lazy to do a couple of Google searches ;-)
Which later became artificially inflated as a proof of "collision" with Russian of Trump team. As widely used in "Russiagate color revolution" against Trump propaganda. As CNN reported (Trump Tower Russia meeting At least eight people in the room - CNNPolitics, July 15, 2017):
The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort included at least eight people.
The revelation of additional participants comes as The Associated Press first reported Friday that a Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin said he also attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. CNN has reached out to Akhmetshin for comment.So far acknowledged in attendance: Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Akhmetshin and publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting. A source familiar with the circumstances told CNN there were at least two other people in the room as well, a translator and a representative of the Russian family who had asked Goldstone to set up the meeting. The source did not provide the names.
WH aides exposed to scrutiny over Russia meeting responseAkhmetshin is a registered lobbyist for Veselnitskaya's organization, which has focused on lobbying Washington to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions, according to lobbying records. The Magnitsky Act allows the US to withhold visas and freeze the assets of Russians thought to have violated human rights. Veselnitskaya founded a group purporting to seek the removal of Moscow's ban on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens, which it put in place in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act. She has also sought to repeal that law.
In early Jan 2018 the bank for opposition research firm Fusion GPS handed over financial records on Friday, after a Federal judge struck down the firm's attempt to conceal the records from the House Intelligence Committee the previous day. At issue are 70 financial transactions from 2016, however Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) demanded "complete" records going all the way back to Aug. 2015 Fusion filed for an injunction - claiming Nunes issued the subpoena illegally, it was overly broad, and it was a violation of the 1st amendment.
The request also covers a period in which Fusion was paid $523,651 by a law firm for a Russian businessman whose company, Prevezon Holdings, Ltd. settled with the U.S. Justice department for $5.9 million. The Russian's attorney for this settlement was none other than Natalia Veselnitskaya of Trump Tower meeting fame.
Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote a scorching denial to Fusion's request - concluding that Nunes legally issued the subpoena, it wasn't overly broad, and that the transactions are not covered by the first amendment.
In late November, The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross reported that heavily redacted Fusion GPS bank records unsealed Tuesday reveal DNC law firm Perkins Coie paid Fusion a total of $1,024,408 in 2016 for opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump - including the 34-page dossier.
Ross also reported that law firm Baker Hostelter paid Fusion $523,651 between March and October 2016 on behalf of a company owned by Russian businessman and money launderer Denis Katsyv to research Bill Browder, a London banker who helped push through the Magnitsky Act -- named after deceased Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky who helped Brower to avoid taxes in Russia via criminal scheme Russian government and invested in New York real estate. Some of the missing funds were traced to Katsyv's firm, Prevezon Holdings Ltd., which settled with the Justice Department in 2017 - paying $5.9 million in fines. Nunes' Subpoena cover banking records from the period in which Katsyv utilized Fusion GPS services.
How Natalia can be an agent of the Russian government, when in fact she was the lawyer for a company stealing from the Russian govt...?
So 'the Russians' in this story could well be DNC and their real money people, like the hedge funds guy and the hotel heiress.
Taras Bulba Jan 6, 2018 10:35 PMA couple of points on the Browder matter, which in an era of anti-Russian hysteria, seems to taken on a life of its own and resulted in the passage of the Magnitsky Act by our "diligent" congress:
- Magnitsky was not a lawyer, he was an accountant; maybe a small matter but it does shade Browder's legal arguments.
- Not surprisingly, the Russian govt has an entirely different take on the Browder matter and has sentenced Browder to several years in prison (in absentia) for tax fraud: https://www.rt.com/politics/414540-moscow-court-sentences-us-investor/ (yeah, ok, it is from RT but the report is accurate.)
- A documentary film was produced some months ago with adverse commentary on Browder's claims-the film was so adverse that Browder and his army of lawyers have spared no expense nor effort to block its public showing -- I believe this effort speaks for itself as to the accuracy of the film.
- I provide a link to a review of the film (somewhat dated) by Doctorow: http://usforeignpolicy.blogs.lalibre.be/archive/2016/06/18/a-film-revie…
- Perhaps, this link from Canadian site "newcoldwar" may provide a more brief commentary: https://www.newcoldwar.org/film-andrei-nekrasov-magnitsky-act-behind-sc…
Strzok participated in the Jan 24, 2016 interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Later Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Which taking into account Flynn biography and Mueller scope of investigation can be classified as a deliberate entrapment. Here how Tim Suereth described this deliberate mafia-style behaviour (Was Flynn Framed? ,
When Flynn was interviewed at the White House by the FBI on January 24th , he had no idea he was entering an interrogation. He was initially contacted by Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, by phone, to tell him that there were some FBI agents on their way over and that they had clearance to get through the gate. Flynn thought that the agents were coming over to do some additional training of security protocols around the White House that had been going on through the previous week so he was completely unprepared for the interrogation. He did not realize he was even being interviewed until a few minutes into a conversation with the FBI agents at his office. He did not have an attorney present, or was given the opportunity to have one. Instead, FBI agent Peter Strzok was successful in confusing and rattling General Flynn until he got the lie he was looking for.
A former U.S. intelligence official told Hannity.com , "with the recent revelation that Strzok was removed from the Special Counsel investigation for making anti-Trump text messages it seems likely that the accuracy and veracity of the Flynn's interview as a whole should be reviewed and called into question. The most logical thing to happen would be to call the other FBI Special Agent present during Flynn's interview before the Grand Jury to recount his version. How logical is it that Flynn is being charged for lying to an agent whose character and neutrality was called into question by the Special Counsel."
The FBI surveillance of General Flynn began out of an illegal unmasking of Trump associates and presidential campaign staff by Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice during the 2016 election, and due to the now discredited DNC funded Dodgy Dossier. So the Obama administration illegally surveil the incoming NSA Advisor and then use it to set up a perjury trap for Flynn who is engaged in perfectly legal and patriotic activity. #entrapment#BSIndictment#set-
In no way talking to Russia ambassador on a recoded line can be qualified as "collision" with foreign government. Only drunk idiot can assume that former director of intelligence of the army agency did not understand the limits of such conversations.
In other words FBI deliberately pushed Flynn under the bus, entrapping him by interviewing him about details of the meeting, which NSA wiretapped in full. That makes pursuing accusation against Flynn for lying to FBI a walk in the park: you can always claim that missing or embellished details are a lie. This is a disingenuous but effective tactic.
According to Wikipedia, in June 2017, Strzok became the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller's 2017 Special Counsel investigation looking into any links or coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. Which means that he became the key figure in color revolution against Trump launched by Clinton's neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party along with supporting parts of US intelligence agencies, as well as some Republicans, especially neocons.
On December 1, 2017 general Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to FBI (Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller - CNNPolitics ). Which was direct result of Strzok efforts.
He worked only for two month in this role. After his texts to Lisa Page was discovered by Inspector General, he was quietly removed by Mueller in late July 2017. Rosenstein was informed bout the texts. But it looks like Mueller failed to inform Rosenstein and House committee on intelligence about this important event.
Around the same time he was demoted in FBI to pushed into HR department (which gives his substantial influence in recruiting like-mined new members of FBI).
In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning.
|By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the
a subordinate section of the FBI's Counterintelligence
He led a team of a dozen investigators to
examine Hillary Clinton's emails,
including reviewing emails discovered just a few days before Election Day, and helped to draft public statements about it.
For example, while working on a team to draft a statement for then-FBI Director James Comey, he changed the description of Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent", which could be a criminal offense, to "extremely careless".
Partially based on Wikipedia page.
Peter P. Strzok II (born in 1970, currently 47 year old) was until July 2017 the key figure in Clinton Email investigation and Trump Russiagate investigation as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and second in command of counterintelligence. He is the central figure of so called Strzok-gate scandal.
After high school in Minnesota, Strzok graduated from Georgetown University in 1991, and in 2013 (12 years later) received a master's degree there. It in unclear in which area and I hope it was not law, but the linguistic department with major in Russian language. But his wife is a lawyer, so he is probably a lawyer too. Strzok then became an officer in the U.S. Army. Only after that he became an counter-intelligence research specialist in the FBI. He was probably recruited at the university.
He jointed FBI in mid-1990s and that means that he was with FBI around 20 years. Which is not that much for such a complex area as counter-espionage. The impression is that he was yet another "FBI politician", a ruthless careerist with the goal of climbing the executive ladder.
His job requires coordination and constant contacts with CIA, as moles are often exposed by CIA channels (often by turncoats recruited by CIA, as was the case with Anna Chapman ). Despite being only 47 years old he is "considered one of the most experienced FBI counterintelligence investigators" NYT.. This experience did not prevented him from having extra-marital affair within the agency. Which somewhat discredits the claim that he was experienced counter-intelligence professional as at this point he could be blackmailed by any other intelligence agency including CIA to do their bidding. At the time of his affair he Strzok is married to Hodgman, 49, who was named to her position with the SEC in October 2016 and has $229,968 salary in 2016 (FederalPay.org).
The claim that he is "considered to be one of the Bureau's top experts on Russia" ( CNN ) is strange. I wonder how this possible. Especially in view of existence of so many children of Russian émigrés who understand both the language and culture (Alperovich from Crowdstrike is a good example here). Otherwise you need to spend at least five years in Russia under diplomatic cover, as Russia is, in a way, a different civilization distinct from Anglo-Saxon civilization. In any case Russia is very difficult country to understand without strong cultural ties or family history. And without the ability to read Russian documents that value of such a specialist is minimal, if exists at all. Another typical way is being stationed in Russia for several years as a foreign correspondent of one on the major newspapers. Several prominent British Russophobes with ties to MI6 after being recruited at the university followed this particular career path (see, for example Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book )
Despite being a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter (judging from his texts to Lisa Page ) he was assigned by Comey (or McCabe) as the top investigator both Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server, and allegations of collusion of Trump team with Russians in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Which give James Comey famous bon-mot "we are not weasels" a new meaning. At this point weasels might really object, as this was apparently more like a can of worms ;-). All those tidbits leaked In December 2017 to unsuspecting public so far paint a picture of FBI as a highly politicized and dysfunctional organization without strong internal controls, which is as far from dispassionate pursue of justice as one can get. Hillary Clinton (aka The Queen) was definitely above the law for FBI brass.
While he jointed knowing that the investigation is fake, he did not last long. In late July or early August 2017, Strzok was removed from Mueller's team and moved to a human resources position at the agency. that happened because Michael E. Horowitz reported to Mueller about the text messages transmitted between Strzok and Lisa Page, who worked at the FBI for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe emerged, which put into question his impartiality. The text messages appeared to be anti-Donald Trump in nature, and also contained personal information concerning to the Justice Department.
Lisa Page with whom Strzok has an affair was assigned to Mueller's investigation as a trial attorney until she left in late September 2017.
Michael E. Horowitz, the Inspector General (IG) of the Justice Department, has an ongoing probe into how the FBI handled the high profile investigations. Fox News reported that a source close to the probe says it will examine Strzok's participation in various other politically sensitive matters, and that the probe should be done by "very early next year." The IG's probe began in January 2017, and Horowitz expects to issue a report in March or April of 2018 at the latest.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has agreed to allow the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to interview Strzok. They have also agreed to give that committee the more than 10,000 text messages between Strzok and Page once they are redacted.
Strzok is married to Melissa Hodgman, who became an associate director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in October 2016.
Has had an affair with Lisa Page, FBI attorney. She was also assigned to Mueller's investigation (probably to compensate for Strzok bias against Trump ;-) as a trial attorney until she left in late September 2017.
Jan 01, 2019 | dailymaverick.co.za
The Guardian, Britain's leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the 'security state', according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.
The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.
Snowden's bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of mass surveillance operated by both agencies.
According to minutes of meetings of the UK's Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, the revelations caused alarm in the British security services and Ministry of Defence.
" This event was very concerning because at the outset The Guardian avoided engaging with the [committee] before publishing the first tranche of information," state minutes of a 7 November 2013 meeting at the MOD.
The DSMA Committee, more commonly known as the D-Notice Committee, is run by the MOD, where it meets every six months. A small number of journalists are also invited to sit on the committee. Its stated purpose is to "prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations". It can issue "notices" to the media to encourage them not to publish certain information.
The committee is currently chaired by the MOD's director-general of security policy Dominic Wilson, who was previously director of security and intelligence in the British Cabinet Office. Its secretary is Brigadier Geoffrey Dodds OBE, who describes himself as an "accomplished, senior ex-military commander with extensive experience of operational level leadership".
The D-Notice system describes itself as voluntary , placing no obligations on the media to comply with any notice issued. This means there should have been no need for the Guardian to consult the MOD before publishing the Snowden documents.
Yet committee minutes note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it."
' Considerable efforts'
These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was marked "private and confidential: not for publication, broadcast or use on social media".
Clearly the committee did not want its issuing of the notice to be publicised, and it was nearly successful. Only the right-wing blog Guido Fawkes made it public.
At the time, according to the committee minutes , the "intelligence agencies in particular had continued to ask for more advisories [i.e. D-Notices] to be sent out". Such D-Notices were clearly seen by the intelligence services not so much as a tool to advise the media but rather a way to threaten it not to publish further Snowden revelations.
One night, amidst the first Snowden stories being published, the D-Notice Committee's then-secretary Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance personally called Alan Rusbridger, then editor of The Guardian. Vallance "made clear his concern that The Guardian had failed to consult him in advance before telling the world", according to a Guardian journalist who interviewed Rusbridger.
Later in the year, Prime Minister David Cameron again used the D-Notice system as a threat to the media.
" I don't want to have to use injunctions or D-Notices or the other tougher measures," he said in a statement to MPs. "I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility. But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."
The threats worked. The Press Gazette reported at the time that "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story."
The Guardian, however, remained uncowed.
According to the committee minutes , the fact The Guardian would not stop publishing "undoubtedly raised questions in some minds about the system's future usefulness". If the D-Notice system could not prevent The Guardian publishing GCHQ's most sensitive secrets, what was it good for?
It was time to rein in The Guardian and make sure this never happened again.
GCHQ and laptops
The security services ratcheted up their "considerable efforts" to deal with the exposures. On 20 July 2013, GCHQ officials entered The Guardian's offices at King's Cross in London, six weeks after the first Snowden-related article had been published. At the request of the government and security services, Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson, along with two others, spent three hours destroying the laptops containing the Snowden documents.
The Guardian staffers, according to one of the newspaper's reporters, brought "angle-grinders, dremels – drills with revolving bits – and masks". The reporter added, "The spy agency provided one piece of hi-tech equipment, a 'degausser', which destroys magnetic fields and erases data."
Johnson claims that the destruction of the computers was "purely a symbolic act", adding that "the government and GCHQ knew, because we had told them, that the material had been taken to the US to be shared with the New York Times. The reporting would go on. The episode hadn't changed anything."
Yet the episode did change something. As the D-Notice Committee minutes for November 2013 outlined: "Towards the end of July [as the computers were being destroyed], The Guardian had begun to seek and accept D-Notice advice not to publish certain highly sensitive details and since then the dialogue [with the committee] had been reasonable and improving."
The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies.
The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair noted that after GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen".
Moreover, he added , there were now "regular dialogues between the secretary and deputy secretaries and Guardian journalists". Rusbridger later testified to the Home Affairs Committee that Air Vice-Marshal Vallance of the D-Notice committee and himself "collaborated" in the aftermath of the Snowden affair and that Vallance had even "been at The Guardian offices to talk to all our reporters".
But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this, noting that "the process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice Committee] member".
At some point in 2013 or early 2014, Johnson – the same deputy editor who had smashed up his newspaper's computers under the watchful gaze of British intelligence agents – was approached to take up a seat on the committee. Johnson attended his first meeting in May 2014 and was to remain on it until October 2018 .
The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing.
A new editor
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger withstood intense pressure not to publish some of the Snowden revelations but agreed to Johnson taking a seat on the D-Notice Committee as a tactical sop to the security services. Throughout his tenure, The Guardian continued to publish some stories critical of the security services.
But in March 2015, the situation changed when the Guardian appointed a new editor, Katharine Viner, who had less experience than Rusbridger of dealing with the security services. Viner had started out on fashion and entertainment magazine Cosmopolitan and had no history in national security reporting. According to insiders, she showed much less leadership during the Snowden affair than Janine Gibson in the US (Gibson was another candidate to be Rusbridger's successor).
Viner was then editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, which was launched just two weeks before the first Snowden revelations were published. Australia and New Zealand comprise two-fifths of the so-called "Five Eyes" surveillance alliance exposed by Snowden.
This was an opportunity for the security services. It appears that their seduction began the following year.
In November 2016, The Guardian published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice Committee. This was not mentioned in the article.
The MI5 chief was given copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the Snowden files."
Parker told the two reporters, "We recognise that in a changing world we have to change too. We have a responsibility to talk about our work and explain it."
Four months after the MI5 interview, in March 2017, the Guardian published another unprecedented "exclusive", this time with Alex Younger, the sitting chief of MI6, Britain's external intelligence agency. This exclusive was awarded by the Secret Intelligence Service to The Guardian's investigations editor, Nick Hopkins, who had been appointed 14 months previously.
The interview was the first Younger had given to a national newspaper and was again softball. Titled "MI6 returns to 'tapping up' in an effort to recruit black and Asian officers", it focused almost entirely on the intelligence service's stated desire to recruit from ethnic minority communities.
" Simply, we have to attract the best of modern Britain," Younger told Hopkins. "Every community from every part of Britain should feel they have what it takes, no matter what their background or status."
Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004".
None of this featured in The Guardian article, which did, however, cover discussions of whether the James Bond actor Daniel Craig would qualify for the intelligence service. "He would not get into MI6," Younger told Hopkins.
More recently, in August 2019, The Guardian was awarded yet another exclusive, this time with Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer. This was Basu's " first major interview since taking up his post" the previous year and resulted in a three-part series of articles, one of which was entitled "Met police examine Vladimir Putin's role in Salisbury attack".
The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent any revelations of this kind happening again.
What, if any, private conversations have taken place between Viner and the security services during her tenure as editor are not known. But in 2018, when Paul Johnson eventually left the D-Notice Committee, its chair, the MOD's Dominic Wilson, praised Johnson who, he said, had been "instrumental in re-establishing links with The Guardian".
Decline in critical reporting
Amidst these spoon-fed intelligence exclusives, Viner also oversaw the breakup of The Guardian's celebrated investigative team, whose muck-racking journalists were told to apply for other jobs outside of investigations.
One well-placed source told the Press Gazette at the time that journalists on the investigations team "have not felt backed by senior editors over the last year", and that "some also feel the company has become more risk-averse in the same period".
In the period since Snowden, The Guardian has lost many of its top investigative reporters who had covered national security issues, notably Shiv Malik, Nick Davies, David Leigh, Richard Norton-Taylor, Ewen MacAskill and Ian Cobain. The few journalists who were replaced were succeeded by less experienced reporters with apparently less commitment to exposing the security state. The current defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, started at The Guardian as head of media and technology and has no history of covering national security.
" It seems they've got rid of everyone who seemed to cover the security services and military in an adversarial way," one current Guardian journalist told us.
Indeed, during the last two years of Rusbridger's editorship, The Guardian published about 110 articles per year tagged as MI6 on its website. Since Viner took over, the average per year has halved and is decreasing year by year.
" Effective scrutiny of the security and intelligence agencies -- epitomised by the Snowden scoops but also many other stories -- appears to have been abandoned," a former Guardian journalist told us. The former reporter added that, in recent years, it "sometimes seems The Guardian is worried about upsetting the spooks."
A second former Guardian journalist added: "The Guardian no longer seems to have such a challenging relationship with the intelligence services, and is perhaps seeking to mend fences since Snowden. This is concerning, because spooks are always manipulative and not always to be trusted."
While some articles critical of the security services still do appear in the paper, its "scoops" increasingly focus on issues more acceptable to them. Since the Snowden affair, The Guardian does not appear to have published any articles based on an intelligence or security services source that was not officially sanctioned to speak.
The Guardian has, by contrast, published a steady stream of exclusives on the major official enemy of the security services, Russia, exposing Putin, his friends and the work of its intelligence services and military.
In the Panama Papers leak in April 2016, which revealed how companies and individuals around the world were using an offshore law firm to avoid paying tax, The Guardian's front-page launch scoop was authored by Luke Harding, who has received many security service tips focused on the "Russia threat", and was titled "Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin".
Three sentences into the piece, however, Harding notes that "the president's name does not appear in any of the records" although he insists that "the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage".
There was a much bigger story in the Panama Papers which The Guardian chose to downplay by leaving it to the following day. This concerned the father of the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who "ran an offshore fund that avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents – including a part-time bishop – to sign its paperwork".
We understand there was some argument between journalists about not leading with the Cameron story as the launch splash. Putin's friends were eventually deemed more important than the Prime Minister of the country where the paper published.
Getting Julian Assange
The Guardian also appears to have been engaged in a campaign against the WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who had been a collaborator during the early WikiLeaks revelations in 2010.
One 2017 story came from investigative reporter Carole Cadwalladr, who writes for The Guardian's sister paper The Observer, titled "When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange". This concerned the visit of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to the Ecuadorian embassy in March 2017, organised by the radio station LBC, for whom Farage worked as a presenter. Farage's producer at LBC accompanied Farage at the meeting, but this was not mentioned by Cadwalladr.
Rather, she posited that this meeting was "potentially a channel of communication" between WikiLeaks, Farage and Donald Trump, who were all said to be closely linked to Russia, adding that these actors were in a "political alignment" and that " WikiLeaks is, in many ways, the swirling vortex at the centre of everything".
Yet Cadwalladr's one official on-the-record source for this speculation was a "highly placed contact with links to US intelligence", who told her, "When the heat is turned up and all electronic communication, you have to assume, is being intensely monitored, then those are the times when intelligence communication falls back on human couriers. Where you have individuals passing information in ways and places that cannot be monitored."
It seems likely this was innuendo being fed to The Observer by an intelligence-linked individual to promote disinformation to undermine Assange.
In 2018, however, The Guardian's attempted vilification of Assange was significantly stepped up. A new string of articles began on 18 May 2018 with one alleging Assange's "long-standing relationship with RT", the Russian state broadcaster. The series, which has been closely documented elsewhere, lasted for several months, consistently alleging with little or the most minimal circumstantial evidence that Assange had ties to Russia or the Kremlin.
One story, co-authored again by Luke Harding, claimed that "Russian diplomats held secret talks in London with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help him flee the UK, The Guardian has learned". The former consul in the Ecuadorian embassy in London at this time, Fidel Narvaez, vigorously denies the existence of any such "escape plot" involving Russia and is involved in a complaint process with The Guardian for insinuating he coordinated such a plot.
This apparent mini-campaign ran until November 2018, culminating in a front-page splash , based on anonymous sources, claiming that Assange had three secret meetings at the Ecuadorian embassy with Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
This "scoop" failed all tests of journalistic credibility since it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered the highly secured Ecuadorian embassy three times with no proof. WikiLeaks and others have strongly argued that the story was manufactured and it is telling that The Guardian has since failed to refer to it in its subsequent articles on the Assange case. The Guardian, however, has still not retracted or apologised for the story which remains on its website.
The "exclusive" appeared just two weeks after Paul Johnson had been congratulated for "re-establishing links" between The Guardian and the security services.
The string of Guardian articles, along with the vilification and smear stories about Assange elsewhere in the British media, helped create the conditions for a deal between Ecuador, the UK and the US to expel Assange from the embassy in April. Assange now sits in Belmarsh maximum-security prison where he faces extradition to the US, and life in prison there, on charges under the Espionage Act.
Acting for the establishment
Another major focus of The Guardian's energies under Viner's editorship has been to attack the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
The context is that Corbyn appears to have recently been a target of the security services. In 2015, soon after he was elected Labour leader, the Sunday Times reported a serving general warning that "there would be a direct challenge from the army and mass resignations if Corbyn became prime minister". The source told the newspaper: "The Army just wouldn't stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent that."
On 20 May 2017, a little over two weeks before the 2017 General Election, the Daily Telegraph was fed the story that "MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns over his links to the IRA". It formed part of a Telegraph investigation claiming to reveal "Mr Corbyn's full links to the IRA" and was sourced to an individual "close to" the MI5 investigation, who said "a file had been opened on him by the early nineties".
The Metropolitan Police Special Branch was also said to be monitoring Corbyn in the same period.
Then, on the very eve of the General Election, the Telegraph gave space to an article from Sir Richard Dearlove, the former director of MI6, under a headline: "Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to this nation. At MI6, which I once led, he wouldn't clear the security vetting."
Further, in September 2018, two anonymous senior government sources told The Times that Corbyn had been "summoned" for a "'facts of life' talk on terror" by MI5 chief Andrew Parker.
Just two weeks after news of this private meeting was leaked by the government, the Daily Mail reported another leak, this time revealing that "Jeremy Corbyn's most influential House of Commons adviser has been barred from entering Ukraine on the grounds that he is a national security threat because of his alleged links to Vladimir Putin's 'global propaganda network'."
The article concerned Andrew Murray, who had been working in Corbyn's office for a year but had still not received a security pass to enter the UK parliament. The Mail reported, based on what it called "a senior parliamentary source", that Murray's application had encountered "vetting problems".
Murray later heavily suggested that the security services had leaked the story to the Mail. "Call me sceptical if you must, but I do not see journalistic enterprise behind the Mail's sudden capacity to tease obscure information out of the [Ukrainian security service]," he wrote in the New Statesman. He added, "Someone else is doing the hard work – possibly someone being paid by the taxpayer. I doubt if their job description is preventing the election of a Corbyn government, but who knows?"
Murray told us he was approached by the New Statesman after the story about him being banned from Ukraine was leaked. "However," he added, "I wouldn't dream of suggesting anything like that to The Guardian, since I do not know any journalists still working there who I could trust."
The Guardian itself has run a remarkable number of news and comment articles criticising Corbyn since he was elected in 2015 and the paper's clearly hostile stance has been widely noted .
Given its appeal to traditional Labour supporters, the paper has probably done more to undermine Corbyn than any other. In particular, its massive coverage of alleged widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has helped to disparage Corbyn more than other smears carried in the media.
The Guardian and The Observer have published hundreds of articles on "Labour anti-Semitism" and, since the beginning of this year, carried over 50 such articles with headlines clearly negative to Corbyn. Typical headlines have included " The Observer view: Labour leadership is complicit in anti-Semitism ", " Jeremy Corbyn is either blind to anti-Semitism – or he just doesn't care ", and " Labour's anti-Semitism problem is institutional. It needs investigation ".
The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour concluded that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law."
Analysis of two YouGov surveys, conducted in 2015 and 2017, shows that anti-Semitic views held by Labour voters declined substantially in the first two years of Corbyn's tenure and that such views were significantly more common among Conservative voters.
Despite this, since January 2016, The Guardian has published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-Semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. In the same period, The Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party's much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory Party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister.
At the same time, some stories which paint Corbyn's critics in a negative light have been suppressed by The Guardian. According to someone with knowledge of the matter, The Guardian declined to publish the results of a months-long critical investigation by one of its reporters into a prominent anti-Corbyn Labour MP, citing only vague legal issues.
In July 2016, one of this article's authors emailed a Guardian editor asking if he could pitch an investigation about the first attempt by the right-wing of the Labour Party to remove Corbyn, informing The Guardian of very good inside sources on those behind the attempt and their real plans. The approach was rejected as being of no interest before a pitch was even sent.
A reliable publication?
On 20 May 2019, The Times newspaper reported on a Freedom of Information request made by the Rendition Project, a group of academic experts working on torture and rendition issues, which showed that the MOD had been "developing a secret policy on torture that allows ministers to sign off intelligence-sharing that could lead to the abuse of detainees".
This might traditionally have been a Guardian story, not something for the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times. According to one civil society source, however, many groups working in this field no longer trust The Guardian.
A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The Times rather than The Guardian."
The Times published its scoop under a strong headline , "Torture: Britain breaks law in Ministry of Defence secret policy". However, before the article was published, the MOD fed The Guardian the same documents The Times were about to splash with, believing it could soften the impact of the revelations by telling its side of the story.
The Guardian posted its own article just before The Times, with a headline that would have pleased the government: "MoD says revised torture guidance does not lower standards".
Its lead paragraph was a simple summary of the MOD's position: "The Ministry of Defence has insisted that newly emerged departmental guidance on the sharing of intelligence derived from torture with allies, remains in line with practices agreed in the aftermath of a series of scandals following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." However, an inspection of the documents showed this was clearly disinformation.
The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden go? DM
The Guardian did not respond to a request for comment.
Daily Maverick will formally launch Declassified – a new UK-focused investigation and analysis organisation run by the authors of this article – in November 2019.
Matt Kennard is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Declassified . He was previously director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, and before that a reporter for the Financial Times in the US and UK. He is the author of two books, Irregular Army and The Racket .
Mark Curtis is a leading UK foreign policy analyst, journalist and the author of six books including Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World and Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam .
Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.orgSmiley , Sep 10 2019 22:54 utc | 34
A point that appears to have missed by several is that an aide to an aide to the foreign minister is not likely to have access to Putin's super-top-secret plans to use a few thousand dollars worth of utube and twit ads to change the course of multi-billion dollar American election, nor would he have access to information that might be used to blackmail a potential foreign leader.
Both would be closely held secrets and apparently way above his pay grade. Often the FM wouldn't know of either, and both operations would be compartmentalized into a close team Putin can trust.
The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister.
My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity.
karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 23:11 utc | 36Smiley @33&34--Smiley , Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 39
House likely bought by CIA and annual upkeep--taxes etc.--also paid by them.
MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up.
In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya, I see nothing but a string of successes, although the Ukraine Coup wasn't debauched. IMO, Outlaw US Empire policy toward Russia has failed spectacularly, and it is within the US government where I'd expect to find well placed spies.Here's a tough problem for a counter-intelligence agent. Find the source of info for a fictional report.willie , Sep 10 2019 23:30 utc | 40
Normally, after a link, one avenue of investigation would be to check who had access to the leaked information. But, if the report is completely fictional, then there is no list of people who had access to information that didn't exist. Everyone or no one had equal access to the non-existent information.
The Tailor of Moscow had the same access to the non-existent information as did Putin's closest personal aide. Who done it?Headline in le Figaro: Ingérence russe :la CIA disposait d'une source haut-placée au Kremlin (Russian collusion: CIA had high placed source at the Kremlin.)Jackrabbit , Sep 11 2019 0:30 utc | 41
A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh.Evidence-free accusations of Russian meddling. Now with extra sauce.GoldmanKropotkin , Sep 11 2019 0:47 utc | 43
<> <> <> <> <> <>
We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016.Yeah, Right , Sep 11 2019 0:57 utc | 44Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146
Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.
Notice the source is spies working for US Allies. Remember that the NSA did not sign off on the Russian interference/hacking because they were concerned that too much critical info rested on intelligence from a single foreign country.
Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag.
Notice how we have some sources saying concern grew after the Trump Putin meeting, where supposedly Trump gave Isreali intelligence to Putin on Syria, I think they were concerned Trump would have no problem revealing a spy for another government, much like he was free with foreign intelligence.
I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia.Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check.juliania , Sep 11 2019 14:57 utc | 58
What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA".
I mean, bit of a slam-dunk, don't you think?juliania , Sep 11 2019 15:11 utc | 59
Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state.
And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud!
This was a guy who had big money stashed away, wanted to be in a place where rich guys are held in high esteem, planned his exit from a no-longer-friendly-to-rich-folk environment (if you had money in Russia these days, you should use it for the good of the country).
It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories.
And this gave me some amusement:
Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said. [Quote from Goldman Kropotkin@43]
Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt?We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela?William Gruff , Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 60
We, our leaders, masterminded it all. Sorry, Mr. Putin - you lose that enviable title. We own it.
What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?
I know some here might say "Everyone would know it is a false flag if Smolenkov gets assassinated!" and that is certainly true if by "everyone" one means the regular readers here and at a few other analysis sites that are not controlled by the empire.
The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce?
Sep 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
librul , Sep 10 2019 19:54 utc | 19Is someone brewing up some fresh Novichok nerve agent as we speak?
Don't touch those doorknobs, Oleg!
for future reference: this post was for amusement purposes only
Sep 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will likely find that all four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against 2016 Trump campaign aide Carter Page were obtained illegally , according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
" I think he will ," said Jordan during an discussion with Fox News 's Sean Hannity and Gregg Jarrett Monday night. In April , Attorney General William Barr assembled a team of DOJ investigators to review controversial counterintelligence decisions made by DOJ and FBI officials made during the 2016 US election.
" I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016, " said Barr.
"That's great news he's looking into how this whole thing started back in 2016," said Rep. Jordan at the time. " That's something that has been really important to us. It's what we've been calling for. "
The investigation into alleged FISA abuse against the Trump campaign by DOJ and FBI officials has reportedly been completed. After a declassification period, the report could be released sometime in September. The contents of the report have not been confirmed.
Attorney General William Barr, who is overseeing U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, said he is working closely with Horowitz, and they will take up any criminal referrals Horowitz might make.
Former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova said he has heard the initial FISA warrant against Page and the three renewals at three-month intervals were illegally obtained . He told the Washington Examiner 's Examining Politics podcast late last month that he got his insider information because the report is "being circulated inside and outside of the department for comment by interested parties." - Washington Examiner
Jordan also noted that he wants Horowitz to testify about his reports on former FBI Director James Comey, and asked "When is somebody going to jail for wrongdoing that took place in the Trump-Russia investigation or even the Clinton investigation?"
New_Meat , 7 minutes ago link847328_3527 , 6 minutes ago link
The FISA Court is under the supervision of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Does John Roberts have zero resources to figure out what happened internally? Is there no Judicial oversight for this Star Chamber?
Or is his "judicial temperament" so calm that he can't see how his Branch has been corrupted?TruthAbsolute , 9 minutes ago link
((( Roberts )))
Probably an accomplice to the entire RussiaGate Hoax.Ruler , 14 minutes ago link
is there any doubt that the USA has a two tiered justice sytem...people in the Washinton swamp are all covered if they capitulate to the Deep State! Comey is nothing but a Traitor but the left wing party do not care cause he is just like them they hate... Trump! And the Patriot all just stand down!booboo , 13 minutes ago link
The Clintons and Bush's have been the worst things to ever have happened to this country.e-man , 12 minutes ago link
and the kardashiansNukeChinaNow , 6 minutes ago link
...and Obama. All the espionage and Deep State manipulation (that we know of) were done under his watch.romanmoment , 15 minutes ago link
What did you expect... when you let one of the monkeys try to turn America into a zoo?
This is all a ****-show of theater. Nobody is going to be held accountable for anything and, if by chance, some low level schlep gets thrown in the clink he'll hang himself with one-ply toilet paper and nobody will have seen a thing....
Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Diana C ,"Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein."
As usual, your analogy here is spot on. I'm still giggling.
Sep 10, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com
A free society cannot stay free for long if the criminal-justice system becomes a political weapon, if that becomes our norm.
The most alarming aspect of the Trump–Russia investigation, and of the stark difference between the aggression with which it was pursued and the see-no-evil passivity of the Clinton emails caper, is the way the investigative process was used to influence political outcomes.
The way to right that wrong is to prevent it from becoming the new normal, not to turn the tables of abuse when power shifts from one side to the other. We can only make things worse by losing the distinction between rebuking errors in judgment and criminalizing them.
Ardent Trump supporters are growling over news that the FBI's former director, James Comey, will not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for the mishandling of memoranda he wrote about his contacts with the president. The news has been reported by The Hill 's John Solomon and the Washington Post 's Devlin Barrett , among others.
Comey's handling of his memos is one aspect of probes related to investigations attendant to the 2016 election, which are being conducted by Justice Department independent counsel Michael Horowitz. Indications are that Horowitz referred the memos issue to the Justice Department for possible prosecution and that, after reviewing the IG's findings, Justice declined to pursue the matter as a criminal case.
Sep 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Robert Mueller - pitched as an incorruptible beacon of justice when he was tasked with (unsuccessfully) hunting down ties between Donald Trump and Russia - was nothing more than a hatchet man for the deep state , who participated in a coverup of Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11 according to a new report by the New York Post 's Paul Sperry - citing former FBI investigators and a new lawsuit by 9/11 victims.According to Sperry, Mueller stonewalled after FBI agents discovered evidence of "multiple, systemic efforts by the Saudi government to assist the hijackers in the lead-up to the 9/11 attacks, " while the former FBI director allegedly "covered up evidence pointing back to the Saudi Embassy and Riyadh -- and may have even misled Congress about what he knew. "
" He was the master when it came to covering up the kingdom's role in 9/11 ," said Sharon Premoli, a September 11th survivor who was pulled out of the rubble of the World Trade Center, and is now suing Saudi Arabia as a plaintiff in a new lawsuit .
"In October of 2001, Mueller shut down the government's investigation after only three weeks , and then took part in the Bush [administration's] campaign to block, obfuscate and generally stop anything about Saudi Arabia from being released," she added.
" Any letting the Saudis off the hook came from the White House ," said former Agent Mark Rossini, adding "I can still see that photo of Bandar and Bush enjoying cigars on the balcony of the White House two days after 9/11."
Speaking with multiple FBI case agents, Sperry lists a series of incidents describing Mueller 'throwing up roadblocks' in front of his own investigators - "making it easier for Saudi suspects to escape questioning." And according to the lawsuit, Mueller "deep-sixed what evidence his agents did manage to uncover."
Via the NY Post :
- Time and again, agents were called off from pursuing leads back to the kingdom's embassy in Washington, as well as its consulate in Los Angeles, where former FBI Agent Stephen Moore headed a 9/11 task force looking into local contacts made by two of the 15 Saudi hijackers, Moore testified in an affidavit for the 9/11 lawsuit. He concluded that "diplomatic and intelligence personnel of Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support to the two hijackers and facilitated the 9/11 plot." Yet he and his team were not allowed to interview them, according to the suit.
- In Washington, former FBI Agent John Guandolo, who worked terror cases out of the bureau's DC office, said then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar "should have been treated as a terrorist suspect" for giving money to a woman who funded two of the 9/11 hijackers. But he was never questioned either, Guandolo said.
- Instead, Mueller obliged what Guandolo called an "outrageous request" from Bandar within days of the attacks to help evacuate from the country dozens of Saudi officials, including at least one Osama bin Laden relative on the terror watch list. Mueller assured their safe passage to planes, using agents as personal escorts, according to FBI documents obtained by Judicial Watch. Agents who should have been interrogating the Saudis instead acted as their bodyguards.
- In 2002, Mueller prevented agents from arresting the Saudi-sponsored al Qaeda cleric who privately counseled the Saudi hijackers, said Raymond Fournier, an agent with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego at the time. "He was responsible for vacating the arrest warrant for Anwar al-Awlaki for passport fraud," Fournier said. He even ordered agents who detained the fiend at JFK to release him into the custody of a "Saudi representative," Fournier said. The FBI closed their investigation of Awlaki, who was allowed to leave the US on a Saudi plane. "Shortly thereafter, the Fort Hood shooting occurred and Awlaki's fingerprints were all over that incident," said former FBI Agent Michael Biasello, who helped work the Texas terror case.
- At the same time, Mueller removed a veteran agent from investigating a tip that an adviser to the Saudi royal family had met with some of the Saudi hijackers at his home in Sarasota, Fla., effectively killing the case, according to the lawsuit. The home was suddenly abandoned two weeks before 9/11.
- Mueller even tried to shut down a congressional investigation into the Saudi hijackers and their contacts in LA and San Diego, said Bob Graham, who led the joint inquiry as Senate Intelligence Committee chair. "The strongest objections" to his staff investigators visiting FBI offices there came from the FBI director himself, said Graham, in a 2017 interview with Harper's magazine. Among other things, Mueller refused their demands to question a paid FBI informant who roomed with the hijackers and even moved him to a safe house where they couldn't find him, Graham said. Mueller, with the White House, redacted 28 pages detailing Saudi-9/11 ties from the congressional report.
- He also gave testimony to Congress that was, at the very least, misleading. In an October 2002 closed-door hearing, Mueller claimed he found out about Saudi-9/11 connections only as a result of the joint inquiry's investigative work: "[S]ome facts came to light here and to me, frankly, that had not come to light before." Only, Moore said he gave Mueller "daily" briefings on such connections in 2001. Mueller also testified the hijackers "contacted no known terrorist sympathizers in the United States," even though the FBI's own case files showed they had contact with at least 14 terrorist suspects and sympathizers in the US prior to 9/11, including some working for the Saudi government. (In later testimony, he tried to walk this back, insisting he "had no intent to mislead.")
"He's a villain, and an arrogant one to boot," said former FBI agent Mark Wauck, who called Mueller a "servant of the deep state."
Tunga , 12 minutes ago linkLEEPERMAX , 13 minutes ago link
Oh those securities!
"Certain key unknown figures in the Federal Reserve may have 'conspired' with key unknown figures at the Bank of New York to create a situation where $240 billion in off balance sheet securities created in 1991 as part of an official covert operation to overthrow the Soviet Union, could be cleared without publicly acknowledging their existence. These securities, originally managed by Cantor Fitzgerald, were cleared and settled in the aftermath of September 11th
through the BoNY. The $100 billion account balance bubble reported by the Wall Street Journalas being experienced in the BoNY was tip of a three day operation, when these securities were moved from off-balance-sheet to the balance sheet.Conscious Reviver , 19 minutes ago link
A FUMBLING two-faced WEAK, FRAIL man with NO MORALS or INTEGRITY was what we saw that day in front of the committee.mrjinx007 , 20 minutes ago link
Mueller's a real criminal, but it is not the Saudis who is helped cover up for, it's the Evil Entity Israel that did 9/11. Everyone with two working brain cells knows that, except the Zionist shill that wrote this crap article.warpigs , 33 minutes ago link
911 is just four days away. Let's listen to them read 3000 names on that day and feel warm and cozys so we remember one more time what president **** Cheney and Vice President Donald Rumsfeld brought upon this country with the help of Susan Rice and the general's speech about mushroom clouds.Fantasy Free Economics , 41 minutes ago link
Is this 9-11 stuff still considered a real foreign attack by anyone?
What the actual ****?
Of course ir was an internal hit job by our own and other govies.
19 dirtball inbred retards circumvent the most advanced nation's entire security apparatus to kill 3-4k people? Really?
I have to, at this point, assume good people are simply too scared to say out loud over Thanksgiving sinner table that they believe their gov is evil.robertsgt40 , 1 hour ago link
Coverups and conspiracies are a way of life in Washington. Coverups are discovered after it is too late to do anything. There is a huge coverup going on right now to prevent anointed members of the power structure of the world from being exposed. http://quillian.net/blog/the-importance-of-covering-up-the-epstein-affair/DutchTaco , 1 hour ago link
How about the FBI cover-up of the "five dancing Israelis" that confirmed on Israeli TV, they were there to "document the event" by video and were allowed to leave the country without further ado.
And then there's Lucky Larry Silverstein who collected handsomely from insurances on the collapse of bldgs 1,2 and my favorite bldg7.
9/11 was just operation Northwood in action. Same goes for MH17, also an operation Northwood to make people hate each other
Sep 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2018%2F01%2Fcia-bull-glenn-simpsons-russia-shop.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> The CIA Bull in Glenn Simpson's Russia Shop Posted on January 22, 2018 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By John Helmer , the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears
In criminal trials the rule for prosecuting and defending lawyers is the same. Never ask a witness a question unless you already know the answer. The corollary rule for defending lawyers is – if the answer to your question will incriminate your client, don't ask it, and hope the prosecutor fails to do his job.
Glenn Simpson, a former employee of the Wall Street Journal in New York, is currently on trial in the US for having fabricated a dossier of allegations of Russian misconduct (bribes, sex, blackmail, hacking) involving President Donald Trump and circulating them to the press; the objective was to damage Trump's candidacy before the election of November 8, 2016. Simpson was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017; then the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on November 8 and again on November 14, 2017. So far, Simpson's veracity and business conduct face nothing more than the court of public opinion. He has not yet been charged with criminal or civil offences. That will happen if the evidence materializes that Simpson has been lying.
Simpson's collaborator in the dossier and his business partner, Christopher Steele, is facing trial in the London High Court, charged with libels he and Simpson published in their dossier. Together, they are material witnesses in two federal US court trials for defamation, one in Miami and one in New York. If they perjure themselves giving evidence in those cases, they are likely to face criminal indictments. If they tell the truth, they are likely to face fresh defamation proceedings; perhaps a civil racketeering suit for fraud; maybe a false statement prosecution under the US criminal code.
One question for them is as obvious as its answer. Who do an American ex-journalist on US national security and an ex-British intelligence agent go to for sources on Russian undercover operations outside Russia in general, the US in particular? Answer -- first, their friends and contacts from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); second, their friends and contacts from the Secret Intelligence Service or MI6, as the UK counterpart is known.
Why then did the twenty-two congressmen, the members of the House Intelligence Committee who subpoenaed Simpson for interview, fail to pursue what information he and Steele received either directly from the CIA or indirectly through British intelligence?
The answer noone in the US wants to say aloud is the possibility that it was the CIA which provided Simpson and Steele with names and source materials for their dossier, creating the evidence of a Russian plot against the US election, and generating evidence of Russian operations. If that is what happened, then Simpson and Steele were participants in a false-flag CIA operation in US politics.
This isn't idle speculation. It has been under investigation at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since Simpson and Steele decided in mid-2016 to go to the FBI to request an investigation, and then told American press to get the FBI to confirm it was investigating. At the fresh request this month from the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI is still investigating .
Simpson's appearance at the House Intelligence Committee was the sequel to his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; for that story, read this .Simpson's three lawyers from the Washington, DC, firm of Cunningham Levy Muse, who appeared with him at the Senate and House committee hearings. From left to right, Robert Muse; Joshua Levy, and Rachel Clattenburg. The firm's other name partner, Bryan Cunningham, was a CIA officer specializingin cyber operations.
The transcripts of the House Intelligence Committee were released last Thursday. Simpson's first appearance was on November 8, and can be read in full here .
Simpson's lawyers did all the talking; Simpson said nothing, pleading the US Constitution's Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.
Although his lawyers repeatedly claimed during the earlier Senate Committee hearing that Simpson was testifying voluntarily, the House Committee recorded that Simpson was compelled to testify. "Our record today," the November 8 transcript begins, "will reflect that you have been compelled to appear today pursuant to a subpoena issued on October 4th, 2017." Simpson then told the Committee through his lawyers that he would plead the Fifth Amendment and not answer any questions. The first transcript is a record of debate between Republican and Democratic members of the Committee.
This resulted in an agreement for Simpson to testify under the subpoena but on terms his lawyers said would limit the scope of the questions which he would agree to answer.
Steele, according to the November 8 transcript, was also summoned to testify. A British citizen with home in Berkshire and office in London, he refused and the Committee recorded his "noncooperation and nontestimony."
Republicans outnumber Democrats on the House Committee, 13 to 9. Just 5 Republican members were at Simpson's November 14 appearance; 7 Democrats. The Republican committee chairman, Devin Nunes, was absent. Release of Simpson's transcript was an initiative of the Democrats. In a statement by their leader on the committee, Adam Schiff, the Democrats claimed last week "thus far, Committee Republicans have refused to look into this key area and we hope the release of this transcript will reinforce the importance of these critical questions to our investigation."
Read the November 14 testimony here .Members of the House Intelligence Committee on the podium at an open hearing inNovember 2017. From left to right: Adam Schiff (D), Michael Conaway (R),and Thomas Rooney (R).
Search the 165 pages of the transcript for the CIA, and you will find many references to the letters, C, I and A – spe cia lize, so cia l, commer cia l, espe cia lly, asso cia tion, finan cia l and politi cia n. There were 44 mentions of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI); 4 mentions of "British Intelligence" – the spy agency to which Steele belonged ten years ago – one mention each of the Israeli Mossad, the Chinese and Indian intelligence services.
According to Simpson, "foreign intelligence services hacking American political operations is not that unusual, actually, and there's a lot of foreign intelligence services that play in American elections." He mentioned the Chinese and the Indians, not the Israelis. The Mossad, Simpson did tell the Committee, was his source for his belief that Russian intelligence has been operating through the Jewish Orthodox Chabad movement, and the Russian Orthodox Church. "The Orthodox church is also an arm of the Russian State now the Mossad guys used to tell me about how the Russians were laundering money through the Orthodox church in Israel, and that it was intelligence operations."
There are just two references in the Committee transcript to the CIA. One was a passing remark to imply the Russians cannot "break[ing] into the CIA, [so instead] you are breaking into, you know, places where, you know, an open society leaves open."
The second was a bombshell. It dropped during questioning by Congressman Thomas Rooney (right),
a 3-term Republican representative from Florida with a career as an army lawyer. Rooney asked Simpson: "Do you or anyone else independently verify or corroborate any information in the dossier?"
Simpson replied by saying, "Yes. Well, numerous things in the dossier have been verified. You know, I don't have access to the intelligence or law enforcement information that I see made reference to, but, you know, things like, you know, the Russian Government has been investigating Hillary Clinton and has a lot of information about her."
Then Simpson contradicted himself, disclosing what he had just denied. "When the original memos came in saying that the Kremlin was mounting a specific operation to get Donald Trump elected President , that was not what the Intelligence Community was saying. The Intelligence Community was saying they are just seeking to disrupt our election and our political process, and that this is sort of kind of just a generally nihilistic, you know, trouble-making operation. And, you know, Chris turned out to be right, it was specifically designed to elect Donald Trump President."
How did Simpson know with such confidence what the "Intelligence Community" was "saying", and who were Simpson's and Steele's sources in the "Intelligence Community"? Rooney failed to inquire. Instead, he and Simpson exchanged question and answer regarding the approach Simpson and Steele made to the FBI when they delivered their dossier. In the details of that, Simpson repeated what he had already told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Rooney then asked what contact had been made with the CIA or "any other intelligence officials". Simpson claimed he didn't understand the question at first, then he stumbled.
Source: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180118/106796/HMTG-115-IG00-20180118-SD002.pdf -- page 61 .
What Simpson was concealing in the two pauses, reported in the transcript as hyphens, Rooney did not realize. Simpson was implying that noone from Fusion GPS, his consulting company, had been in contact with the CIA, nor him personally. But Simpson left open that Steele had been in contact with the CIA. Rooney followed with a question about "anyone", but that was so imprecise, Simpson recovered his confidence to say "No". That was a cover-up – and the House Intelligence Committee let it drop noiselessly.
Intelligence community sources and colleagues who know Simpson and Steele say Simpson was notorious at the Wall Street Journal for coming up with conspiracy theories for which the evidence was missing or unreliable. He told the Committee that disbelief on the part of his editors and management had been one of his reasons for leaving the newspaper. "One of the reasons why I left the Wall Street Journal was because I wanted to write more stories about Russian influence in Washington, D.C., on both the Democrats and the Republicans eventually the Journal lost interest in that subject. And I was frustrated that was where I left my journalism career."Left: Glenn Simpson reporter for the Wall Street Journal in 1996, promoting his book, Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics. Right: Simpson in Washington in August 2017.
When Simpson was asked "do you – did you find anything to -- that you verified as false in the dossier, since or during?" Simpson replied: "I have not seen anything – ". Note the hypthen, the stenographer's signal that Simpson was pausing.
"[Question]. So everything in that dossier, as far as you're concerned, is true or could be true?"
"MR. SIMPSON: I didn't say that. What I said was it was credible at the time it came in. We were able to corroborate various things that supported its credibility."
Sources in London are divided on the question of where Steele's sources came from – CIA, MI6, or elsewhere. What has been clear for the year in which the dossier's contents have been in public circulation is that the sources the dossier referred to as "Russian" were not. For details of the sourcing . The subsequent identification of the Maltese source Joseph Mifsud, and the Greek-American George Papadopoulos, corroborates their lack of direct Russian sources. Instead, the sources identified in the dossier were either Americans, Americans of Russian ethnic origin, or Russians with no direct knowledge repeating hearsay three or four times removed from source.
So were the allegations of the dossier manufactured by a CIA disinformation unit, and fed back to the US through the British agent, Steele? Or were they a Simpson conspiracy theory of the type that failed to pass veracity testing when Simpson was at the Wall Street Journal? The House Intelligence Committee failed to inquire.
One independent clue is what financial and other links Simpson and Steele and their consulting firms, Fusion GPS and Orbis Business Intelligence, have had with US Government agencies other than the FBI, and what US Government contracts they were paid for, before the Republican and Democratic Party organizations commissioned the anti-Trump job?
The House Committee has subpoenaed business records from Fusion, but Simpson's lawyers say they will refuse to hand them over. The financial records of Steele's firm are openly accessible through the UK government company registry, Companies House. Click to read here .
Because the Trump dossier work ran from the second half of 2015 to November 2016, the financial reports of Orbis for the financial years ending March 31, 2016, and March 31, 2017, are the primary sources. For FY 2016 and FY 2017, open this link to read.
The papers reveal that Orbis was a small firm with no more than 7 employees. Steele's business partner and co-shareholder, Christopher Burrows, is another former MI6 spy. They had been hoping for MI6 support of their private business, but it failed to materialize, says an London intelligence source. "Chris Burrows is another from the same background. They all hope to be Hakluyt [a leading commercial intelligence operation in London] but didn't get the nod on departure."
Left: Christopher Steele; right, Christopher Burrows.
They do not report the Orbis income. Instead, for 2016 the company filings indicate £155,171 in cash at the bank, and income of £245,017 owed by clients and contractors. Offsetting that figure, Orbis owed £317,848 – to whom and for what purposes is not reported. The unaudited accounts show Orbis's profit jumped from £121,046 in 2015 to £199,223 in 2016, and £441,089 in 2017.
The financial data are complicated by the operation by Steele and Burrows of a second company, Orbis Business Intelligence International, a subsidiary they created in 2010, a year after the parent company was formed. Follow its affairs here .
According to British press reports , Orbis and Steele were paid £200,000 for the dossier. Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee the sum was much less -- $160,000 (about £114,000). Simpson's firm, he also testified, was being paid at a rate of about $50,000 per month for a total of about $320,000. If the British sources are more accurate than Simpson's testimony, Steele's takings from the dossier represented roughly half the profit on the Orbis balance-sheet.
British sources also report that a US Government agency paid for Orbis to work on evidence and allegations of corruption at the world soccer federation, Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA). Indictments in this case were issued by the US Department of Justice in May 2015 , and the following December . What role the two-partner British consultancy played in the complex investigations by teams from the Justice Department, the FBI and also the Internal Revenue Service is unclear. That Steele, Burrows and Orbis depended on US government sources for their financial well-being appears to be certain.
Another reported version of the FIFA contract is that Steele, Burrows and Orbis were hired by the British Football Association to collect materials on FIFA corruption, and provide them to the FBI and other US investigators, and then to the press. The scheme's objective was reportedly to advance the British bidding for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 by discrediting the rival bids from Russia and Qatar. Click to read . Were MI6 and CIA sources mobilized by Orbis to feed the FBI with evidence the US investigators were unable to turn up, or was Orbis the conduit through which disinformation targeting Russia was fed to make it appear more credible to the FBI, and to the media?
US Congressional investigators have so far failed to notice the similarities between the FIFA and the Trump dossier operations. Early this month two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that they have called for a Justice Department and FBI investigation of Steele for providing false information to the FBI. The provision of the US code making lying a federal crime requires the falsehoods occur "within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States." Simpson has testified that when Steele briefed the FBI on the dossier, he did so at meetings in Rome, Italy.
Now then, Part I and this sequel of the Simpson-Steele story having been read and thoroughly mulled over, what can the meaning be?
In the short run, this case was a black job assigned by Republican Party candidates for president, then the Democratic National Committee, for the purpose of discrediting Trump in favour of Hillary Clinton. It failed on Election Day in 2016; the Democrats are still trying.
In the long run, the case is a measurement of the life, or the half-life, of truth. Giuseppe di Lampedusa wrote once that nowhere has truth so short a life as in Sicily. On his clock, that was five minutes. He didn't know the United States, or shall we say the stretch from Washington through New York to the North End of Boston. There, truth has an even shorter life. Scarcely a second.
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Rhondda , January 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm
I pay pretty close attention to this topic and I must say I sometimes wonder if the Russians haven’t sold the rope to the American political elite. I read all 311 pages of Simpson’s testimony. I was struck that much of what he was “fed” by Steele confirmed his “OMG Russia corruption” biases.
And I say “fed to him” when I’m in a generous mood, giving him the benefit of the doubt, because usually I am of the opinion that he’s either a really crappy CIA agent posing as a journalist or just a garden variety rat f*!@er. A black job political operative, stitching together a few almost-believable “facts” and out-and-out fabrications with squishy words like “collusion” and “ties.”
From the embedded link in Helmer’s text above:
London due diligence firms say the record of Simpson’s firm Fusion GPS and Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence operations in the US has discredited them in the due diligence market. The London experts believe the Senate Committee transcript shows Simpson and Steele were hired for the black job of discrediting the target of their research, Trump; did a poor job; failed in 2016; and now are engaged in bitter recriminations against each other to avoid multi-million dollar court penalties.
A source at a London firm which is larger and better known than Steele’s Orbis says “standard due diligence means getting to the truth. It’s confidential to the client, and not leaked. There are also black jobs, white jobs, and red jobs. Black means the client wants you to dig up dirt on the target, and make it look credible for publishing in the press. White means the client wants you to clear him of the wrongdoing which he’s being accused of in the media or the marketplace; it’s also leaked to the press. A red job is where the client pays the due diligence firm to hire a journalist to find out what he knows and what he’s likely to publish, in order to bribe or stop him. The Steele dossier on Trump is an obvious black job. Too obvious.”
3.14e-9 , January 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm
I read all 311 pages of Simpson’s testimony. I was struck that much of what he was “fed” by Steele confirmed his “OMG Russia corruption” biases.
Same here, but not just about what he was fed by Steele. Simpson claimed to have done some of his own research and said it was consistent with what he got from Steele.
I’m about three-quarters of the way through the transcript of Simpson’s interrogation by the House Intelligence Committee, and I’ve read all 312 pages of the Senate Judiciary Committee transcript, which bears little resemblance to what was reported in the major media – shocking, I know.
Among the “bombshells” the mainstream reported was “proof” that it wasn’t the dossier that launched the FBI’s investigation of Trump, and therefore the dossier couldn’t have been used as justification for a FISA warrant. A bigger bombshell, which of course none of them mentioned, is that Simpson, with his client’s consent, was secretly briefing Clinton-friendly reporters on information from Steele’s memos, and they used it to write stories based on “unnamed sources.” He even admitted that he didn’t verify the information before feeding it to the media, said he didn’t feel he needed to, because it came from a trustworthy source. Where have we heard that before?
Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I’m wondering why it’s that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing. It’s well-established that the State Department often acts as a cover for the CIA, and the agency under Secretary Clinton had a strong anti-Russia faction that’s on the record as meddling in Ukraine’s presidential election. And how much doubt could there be that both Clintons kept the CIA connections they made while in office?
Then there was the whole “Grizzly Steppe” report just before Trump’s inauguration, presented as a consensus among “17 intelligence agencies” that the Russians “hacked the election” to help Trump win.
I’m not 100-percent convinced that U.S. intelligence was behind the dossier, but it’s enough of a possibility that I’m not writing it off as some nutty “conspiracy theory.”
integer , January 23, 2018 at 4:16 am
Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I’m wondering why it’s that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing.
FWIW this NC commenter has never had any problem believing that this may be the case. In fact I am fairly certain that it is the case, although from what I understand the FBI and MI6 were also involved.
Adding: Heh. I posted this before looking at Rev Kev’s link to the Raimondo article, which comes to the same conclusions. Interesting times!
Scott1 , January 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm
I believe that Seth Abramson or someone put photographs to the Steele dossier showing people in the places & at the times delineated in the Steele dossier.
From the very first Steele said he would not & could not reveal his sources. It was from the first indicated that it would be to the FBI & CIA to discover.
He said he believed that his sources were credible.
When I was studying Intelligence services the CIA was said to be the private army of the CIA. These days I don’t know exactly who the CIA works for, or answers to.
I certainly don’t think well of the CIA believing they are wrapped up working for their Front businesses more than focusing on the mission of spying in the interests of the American people.
Of private intelligence companies I get what I can from IHS Jane’s.
That the CIA lost 20 assets, human beings, in China for incompetent secret communications methods would lead professionals to withhold as much of identities as possible.
For awhile there I believe Steele was worried about his own health.
David Corn at Mother Jones was reticent to break the story.
So now what I see to look for is what Steele said needed to be done, & that being what Mueller is doing at the behest of the DOJ.
The US has been at war, albeit Hybrid war since the imposition of sanctions for their violations of international law as regarded the annexation of Crimea & the attack on the Ukraine.
Sanctions are Economic Warfare.
That the US feels the right to engage in warfare of any kind Economic or Hot over violations of International Law leads me to believe that the UN will fail to prevent the apocalyptic riot.
But that as regards Trump becomes neither here nor there, correct?
The Rev Kev , January 23, 2018 at 12:29 am
Justin Raimondo has weighed in on this story at https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/01/22/russsia-gate-implodes/ and he does not sound like a happy camper.
John Gilberts , January 24, 2018 at 12:25 am
William Binney, former NSA technical official and whistleblower, comments on the FISA memo, that has apparently just been released. Obviously, a major development in ‘Russia-gate’.
William Binney Exposes Secret FISA Memo
Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
You think that a guy who has been repeatedly rebuked by the Department of Justice Inspector General for violating DOJ and FBI policies and procedures would have the grace to be silent. You would be wrong. Jim Comey has anointed himself as the Jesus Christ of America. Only Jim is wise and good. Only Jimmy can save us from that anti-Christ, Donald Trump.
And Comey's latest? Trump's a narcissist. Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein. Jim Comey tweeted out the following today (Sunday):
James Comey Verified account @ Comey 4h 4 hours ago
It's Sunday morning. A devastating hurricane is approaching. A gunman just slaughtered innocents in Texas. But the President of the United States is wasting time airing personal grievances and live-Tweeting Fox. Narcissism is not leadership. America deserves better. Could not agree more. Except the narcissist in Chief is not Trump. It is you, Jimmy Comey. It was not Donald Trump who overstepped his authority and read out a detailed list of charges against Hillary Clinton. It was not Donald Trump that sat on the news that Anthony "Little Dick" Weiner's laptop contained more classified Hillary emails. It was not Donald Trump who then belatedly announced the discovery of said emails.
Jimmy Comey has achieved new lows in smug sanctimony. His self-righteous bullshit has passed the point of tiresome. It is just annoying. I spoke with a retired FBI buddy today. He was one of the first ones detailed to CIA Headquarters in the late 1990s in an effort to improve inter-agency coordination (and that mission failed in large measure because of the behavior of another narcissist, the CIA Chief of Alec Station). He was beyond sad and embarrassed at the spectacle and conduct of Jim Comey. My friend told me that he used to happily introduce himself as a "retired FBI agent." No longer. He simply says that he worked for the Government and tries to avoid saying anything about having served with the FBI. The big hammer is still to drop and Comey is not likely to walk away a free man. He lied to a Federal Court. He needs to be held accountable.
Posted at 08:52 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink
Factotum , 03 September 2019 at 11:22 AMTrey Gowdy also long warned us about the self-annointed Saint James Comey. I sense a trend among knowledgable pundits.Rob Naardin , 04 September 2019 at 11:00 AMI can't wait to see the dark forces of the deep state in bright orange prison jumpsuits.Diana C , 04 September 2019 at 11:40 AM
https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/kudos-andy-for-ball-of-collusion/"Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein."
As usual, your analogy here is spot on. I'm still giggling.
My literary analogy would have been that Comey is the very inept Walter Mitty of today's America. He does imagine himself as the "voice crying in the wilderness."
It sounds, however like a braying donkey wanting some attention. He was one of the Democrats' "useful idiots." Too bad they didn't realize that they might actually get a certified idiot.
Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
The short answer to the title of this article--YES!!
Michael Flynn's new lawyer, Sidney Powell, is a honey badger. If you do not know anything about honey badgers I encourage you to watch the documentary, Honey Badgers, Master's of Mayhem . They tear the testicles off of lions. And it sure looks like Ms. Powell is emasculating prosecutor Andrew Weisman.
Last Friday, August 30th, Sidney Powell filed a brief with the District Court in the District of Columbia laying out in exquisite detail the misconduct of the Mueller prosecutors, who have withheld exculpatory evidence. The document is still behind a pay wall (Pacer). But let me share with you some of the salient points of this filing:
The government's most stunning suppression of evidence is perhaps the text messages of Peter Srzok and Lisa Page. In July of 2017, (now over two years ago), the Inspector General of the Department of Justice advised Special Counsel of the extreme bias in the now infamous text messages of these two FBI employees. Mr. Van Grack did not produce a single text messages to the defense until March 13, 2018, when he gave them a link to then-publicly available messages.14
Mr. Van Grack and Ms. Ahmad, among other things, did not disclose that FBI Agent Strzok had been fired from the Special Counsel team as its lead agent almost six months earlier because of his relationship with Deputy Director McCabe's Counsel -- who had also been on the Special Counsel team -- and because of their text messages and conduct. One would think that more than a significant subset of those messages had to have been shared by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice with Special Counsel to warrant such a high-level and immediate personnel change.
Indeed, Ms. Page left the Department of Justice because of her conduct, and Agent Strzok was terminated from the FBI because of it.
Likewise, the prosecutors did not produce evidence of Weissmann's and Ahmad's relationship and work with Bruce Ohr on transmitting the corrupt information to the FBI, and the numerous 302s resulting from the interviews of Bruce Ohr by the second agent.
The Government's misconduct was not limited to General Flynn. Ms. Powell describes in detail how the Government lied in another case related to General Flynn:
In yet another recent demonstration of egregious government misconduct, the government completely changed the meaning of exculpatory information in a declassified version of a report -- by omitting the word "not." This case, involving Adam Lovinger, is related to issues involving Mr. Flynn, as Mr. Lovinger was wrongly charged (and secretly cleared) after blowing the whistle on the fraudulent payments to FBI/CIA/DOD operative Stefan Halper -- a central figure in the government's targeting and intelligence abuses of the last several years -- including against Mr. Flynn.
Mr. Lovinger had been an analyst at the Pentagon for more than ten years when he was detailed to the White House at then-National Security Advisor Flynn's request. Mr. Lovinger voiced concerns internally regarding the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment for prioritizing academic reports (one of which was written by Stefan Halper) at the expense of real threat assessments. He was recalled to the Pentagon, accused of mishandling sensitive information, stripped of his security clearance, and suspended. As it turned out, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted a thorough examination of his electronic devices, but "[a]gents found no evidence he leaked to the press, as charged, or that he was a counterintelligence risk.
Even though the investigation exonerated Mr. Lovinger of these charges a full month before Mr. Lovinger's hearing, the government did not reveal to Mr. Lovinger's attorneys that this investigation occurred.17 Even worse, the declassified version of the NCIS left out a crucial "not". It read that the investigation "did yield any classified or sensitive information,"18 when the truth was the investigation "did not yield any classified or sensitive information."19 The declassified version omitted the word "not."
Got that? The Mueller prosecutors lied about what the investigation of Mr. Lovinger concluded. He did NOT, repeat NOT, "yield any classified or sensitive information. " But Mueller's team of hacks, disgraceful pieces of excrement, took out the word, "NOT".
Now here is where it gets interesting. Sidney Powell filed her document on Friday night (30 August). She also submitted a sealed portion detailing how the Mueller team has lied about the evidence. I have seen one of the affidavits she filed. I will not say who or what it contained other than to expose specific details how Michael Flynn's Fourth Amendment rights were violated. But the prosecutors ran immediately to Adam Goldman of the New York Times as leaked this sealed information.
Adam wrote an article the same day and "reported" the following:
Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, the president's first national security adviser, escalated their attacks on prosecutors on Friday, recycling unfounded conspiratorial accusations in a last-ditch bid to delay his sentencing in a case in which he has twice admitted guilt.
The move could anger Emmet G. Sullivan, the federal judge who will sentence Mr. Flynn. The filings could magnify any doubts by Judge Sullivan about whether Mr. Flynn truly accepts responsibility for his crime of lying to the F.B.I. and whether he fulfilled his cooperation agreement with the government in one of the lingering cases brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
In a pair of filings, Mr. Flynn's lawyers made clear that they view him as a victim of prosecutorial misconduct, amplifying right-wing theories about a so-called deep state of government bureaucrats working to undermine President Trump. The defense lawyers accused prosecutors of engaging in "pernicious" conduct in Mr. Flynn's case, saying they had been "manipulating or controlling the press to their advantage to extort that plea."
Yet, when you read the full filing by Ms. Powell, not a single "unfounded conspiratorial accusation" is discussed. The prosecutors gave that protected information to Goldman.
Worse, the prosecutors gave Goldman information from the NSA intercepts of Michael Flynn's conversation with the Russian Ambassador. So far, the Mueller team of miscreants have refused to turn over this material to Michael Flynn's lawyer. But they shared it with Goldman, who wrote:
"We must have access to that information to represent our client consistently with his constitutional rights and our ethical obligations," Mr. Flynn's lawyers wrote.
The classified transcripts of the calls make clear that the two men discussed sanctions at length and that Mr. Flynn was highly unlikely to have forgotten those details when questioned by the F.B.I., several former United States officials familiar with the documents have said. It was clear, the officials said, that sanctions were the only thing Mr. Flynn wanted to talk about with Mr. Kislyak.
Mr. Flynn's lawyers also suggested in the filing that the government had exculpatory material, but it is not clear if they consider the transcripts to be that material. Some conservatives have embraced a theory that Mr. Flynn's nonchalance in the F.B.I. interview, which agents documented because it seemed at odds with how blatantly he was lying, was exonerating.
How in the hell does Goldman know what is in those "transcripts"? He was told.
But there is a broader, more important point--Michael Flynn's conversation with the Russian Ambassador was not illegal. It was not improper. He could discuss whatever he wanted to discuss as the incoming National Security Advisor for Donald Trump. This was a false claim by the Mueller Prosecutors.
If the Mueller team, what is left of it, was confident of their position, they would not have leaked this story to the New York Times hack, Goldman. This is a sign of desperation and panic.
Knowing what we know about Judge Sullivan, who is in charge of the Michael Flynn case, he is likely to be furious by this bald lying by Mueller's hacks.
Should be an interesting week ahead. Sidney Powell will probably be feasting on a heaping plate of prosecutor balls. Like the Honey Badger, she is ripping them a new one.
Posted at 10:27 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink
Factotum , 03 September 2019 at 11:24 AMYear of the Woman finally finds the right woman. I'm with her.Jack , 03 September 2019 at 12:05 PMWhat were Flynn's previous attorneys doing? They got him to cop the plea deal.Larry Johnson -> Jack... , 03 September 2019 at 12:34 PMThey were incompetents. They should be sued for malpractice and disbarred. They helped serve up General Flynn and he trusted them. That's now water under the bridge. Sidney Powell is a force to be reckoned with.Don Schmeling said in reply to Jack... , 03 September 2019 at 06:40 PMThey might have been too scared of what Mueller would do to them if they put up a good case for Flynn.Factotum said in reply to Don Schmeling... , 03 September 2019 at 09:22 PM
I think the same thing happened to George Popadopoulos who had his lawyers roll over and play dead before Mueller.
You need to find Lawyers who are not afraid of the system, or are in bed with the system.The "confession" they got Papadopolus to sign made no sense and almost looked like it had been altered after Papadopolus had already signed his name. There were a series of very disjointed and irrelevant statements of facts, to which Papadopolus agreed they were factual.jd hawkins said in reply to Factotum... , 04 September 2019 at 04:15 AM
Then pow at the very end was basically a confession he had violated the Logan Act.
None of the prior statements supported this conclusion, but as the cherry on top of his "confession" was the claim he engaged in policy level discussions with the very highest Russian higher ups while Obama was still President. (Was he ever in this role - hard to remember?).
That always struck me as a very weird "confession - but there is was with Papadolopus's signature on it, and accepted by the deep state investigating authorities.
This "confession" deserves a re-read in light of what we are learning now about the set-up and ambush mentality of the deep state "investigators.I'm in your 'Amen' corner on this.ex PFC Chuck , 03 September 2019 at 05:38 PMOn another front of the Russiagate affair, per a Monsieur America Twitter thread, Loretta Lynch in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee has absolved herself of any involvement in the FISA warrant on Carter Page. https://twitter.com/MonsieurAmerica/status/1168885394269564928Fred -> ex PFC Chuck ... , 03 September 2019 at 06:54 PMNow the rats are throwing their subordinates under the sinking ship. Good to know the grandma AG had time to meet Hillary's husband on the tarmac but no time to be briefed about "foreign interference" in our election. I can't wait to hear Obama's excuse.Ghost Ship , 03 September 2019 at 07:30 PMJamesT -> Ghost Ship... , 04 September 2019 at 12:35 AMdid yield any classified or sensitive informationLogically just doesn't make sense - it's almost as if the person editing the NCIS report decided he didn't like doing what he asked to do and produced a piece of text that only really made sense with a "not" in it. Either that, or he was actually an idiot.Or the mangled language was used to let them claim it was accidental ... "gosh, we just made an honest mistake".MP98 , 04 September 2019 at 12:01 AMFlynn may have been set up and lied to right and left, BUT... how did he get three stars? He comes across in this as a victim and a dummy.
He should have known that the FBI NEVER interviews people honestly. The agents told him that he didn't need a lawyer so he didn't call one. That's just massive stupid.
Cops I know have told me to NEVER talk to police without a lawyer present. How come the former head of the DIA didn't know that?
Sep 04, 2019 | www.thenation.com
It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation.
Even leaving aside the misperception that Russia is the primary threat to America in world affairs, no aspect of this allegation has turned out to be true, as should have been evident from the outset. Major aspects of the now infamous Steele Dossier, on which much of the allegation was based, were themselves not merely "unverified" but plainly implausible.
Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? Nonetheless, the American mainstream media and other important elements of the US political establishment relied on Steele's allegations for nearly three years, even heroizing him -- and some still do, explicitly or implicitly.
Not surprisingly, former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. No credible evidence has been produced that Russia's "interference" affected the result of the 2016 presidential election in any significant way. Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996.
Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why.
Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)
But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.
So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not. Barr has already leveled procedural charges against James Comey, head of the FBI under President Obama and briefly under President Trump, but the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits.
The FBI is no longer the fearsome organization it once was and thus not hard to investigate, as Barr has already shown. The others, particularly the CIA, are a different matter, and Barr has suggested they are resisting. To investigate them, particularly the CIA, it seems, he has brought in a veteran prosecutor-investigator, John Durham.
Which raises other questions. Are Barr and Durham, whose own careers include associations with US intelligence agencies, determined to uncover the truth about the origins of Russiagate? And can they really do so fully, given the resistance already apparent? Even if so, will Barr make public their findings, however damning of the intelligence agencies they may be, or will he classify them? And if the latter, will President Trump use his authority to declassify the findings as the 2020 presidential election approaches in order to discredit the role of Obama's presidency and its would-be heirs?
Equally important perhaps, how will mainstream media treat the Barr-Durham investigation and its findings? Having driven the Russiagate narrative for so long and so misleadingly -- and with liberals perhaps finding themselves in the incongruous position of defending rogue intelligence agencies -- will they credit or seek to discredit the findings?
It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.
There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.)
At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.
This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .
Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .
Aug 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
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Pro_sanity , 24 minutes ago linknewworldorder , 27 minutes ago link
Cogent people know they'll be no justice for McCabe. While I'm at, has anybody heard anything further on Epstein aftermath? Haven't heard a peep myself. Comey? Oh yeah, he's cleared. Brennan, Clapper, Strozk? Hmm. Let's go down the food chain a little, anybody follow up on the college admission scandal? News was that people were going to get fucked bad on that. Dead calm now. What's up with Lori Loughlin? Anything come of that? Hmm ...
Well one thing's for sure, if I jaywalk, I'm fucked.Bounder , 1 hour ago link
No sympathy for McCabe or the other law breaking FBI apparatchiks.
They knew their jobs, they were highly educated and knew the complexity of US criminal laws. They should rot in jail, doing the maximum penalties under US laws. Bread and water is all he deserves.
THEY and thousands like them throughout history have put the average citizen of their countries through hell and in many cases war and human destruction.DirtySanchez , 1 hour ago link
This whole issue of the FBI and AG using the phrase "they didn't intend to cause harm, or there was no intent to break the law" Is the most atrocious thing I have ever heard - until Hillary that was NEVER used to let someone go - Now they use the same phrase with Comey - He didn't "intend" to violate protocol. What a load of crap.
Try that defense the next time your pulled over "officer I didn't intend to speed" Im sure it will work.
The charge of Manslaughter is when some unintentionally kills some one - I guess this is no longer a crime now?
The very fact that the elites can be judged and let loose because of their "intent", and the rest of us are jailed and fined regardless of our intent, pretty much tells you all you need to know. And the fact that the MSM openly glorify's in this disparity of treatment makes it that much worse.Harry Lightning , 45 minutes ago link
The fbi comes for some political foes in the middle of the night, dressed in SWAT gear, armed with automatic weapons, kicking down doors, alerting fake news to set up cameras for impending raid, and takes 70+ year old non violent offenders into custody with handcuffs.
Other times, the fbi decides that any reasonable prosecutor would never take a particular case.....
But one never ever sees the fbi investigate and arrest one of their own.
The complicit and dirty cousin, the doj, is equally corrupt, criminal in nature, and should no longer be seen as credible.
The judiciary is a collection of corrupt, compromised, politicized, and untrustworthy tyrants.
Equal Justice Under Law is a great line, a nice story, so to speak.
Lady Justice is weeping at what the fbi, doj, and the entirety of the jewdiciary did to her reputation.
FUBARComeAndTakeIt , 2 hours ago link
hahahahaha...whether its true or not, its still a good laugh !Harry Lightning , 1 hour ago link
I don't pretend to be a McCabe fan. Nevertheless, I have sympathy for him. The 2016 election will define his career, but it does not fairly reflect his long years of service defending the rule of law and American national security.
Is that some kind of joke?
You think this guy was on the straight and narrow his whole career, and then in 2016 all of the sudden for some strange reason does a complete 180 and participates in a presidential coup, and a whole bunch of other extremely dirty stuff?Anunnaki , 2 hours ago link
You're exactly right. No reason to believe that this was a patriot who made an error. No way. This is the pinnacle of a corrupt career characterized by a desire for advancement and power regardless of what he had to do. Even entrapping people he knew to be innocent in false testimony traps just to increase his arrest record.
Zebras don't change their stripes and neither did this pig. He tried to implement a coup against the rightfully elected President of the United States, there is no question about what he did, its on the pages of the text transcripts written by the two whores, Stzrock and Page.
This sunuvabitch needs to be punished, or everyone sitting in a Federal prison now for fraud or forgery needs to be released, and the charges against anyone accused of making false statements to the FBI have to be dropped. Your move Mr. Attorney General, a whole nation and world is watching. Is the American government ready to prosecute one of its own, or will they allow the hypocrisy of two sets of laws - one for the insiders and the other for the rest of us - to continue corrupting the alleged "nation of laws" ?ConanTheContrarian1 , 2 hours ago link
I think many on Zerohedge need an intervention. No indictment for Comey on leaking is also going to mean no indictment on FISA. Many of you keep backing up and surrendering ground expecting justice "next time".
Comey is a Brahmin, he won't be indicted. None of them will be: Obama, The Clinton's, Rice, Jarrett, Clapper, Brennan, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr
they murdered or evacuated Epstein in plain daylight. They have all the power. Trump knows this too. All he can do is bitch Tweet.
it's not ever going to happen. These people are all friends with each other. You don't send your friends to jail
Dont live in denial like the Dems and Russia. There is no Q
Good analysis, EXCEPT for referring to "his long years of service defending the rule of law and American national security". Let's not be naive. If he did what he did, it was because of longstanding habit of doing whatever dirty tricks were requested by his controllers, and his service was a fraud the whole time. He was a Deep State operative who worked in the FBI.
Aug 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Andrew McCarthy via NationalReview.com,
The former deputy director's FBI coddled Clinton and addled Trump. Now he seeks clemency... even as he sues the Justice Department...
Hillary Clinton checked every box for a violation of the Espionage Act. So much so that, in giving her a pass, the FBI figured it better couch her conduct as "extremely careless," rather than "grossly negligent." The latter description was stricken from an earlier draft of then-director James Comey's remarks because it is, verbatim, the mental state the statute requires for a felony conviction. It wouldn't do to have an "exoneration" statement read like a felony indictment.
In point of fact, the careless/negligent semantic game was a sideshow. Mrs. Clinton's unlawful storage and transmission of classified information had been patently willful. In contemptuous violation of government standards, which she was bound not only to honor but to enforce as secretary of state, she systematically conducted her government business by private email, via a laughably unsecure homebrew server set-up. Her Obama administration allies stress that it was not her purpose to harm national security, but that was beside the point. The crime was mishandling classified information, and she committed it. And even if motive had mattered (it didn't), her purpose was to conceal the interplay between her State Department and the Clinton Foundation, and to avoid generating a paper trail as she prepared to run for president. No, that's not as bad as trying to do national-security harm, but it's condemnable all the same.
While Clinton's mishandling of classified information got all the attention, it was just the tip of the felony iceberg. Thousands of the 33,000 emails she withheld and undertook to "bleach bit" into oblivion related to State Department business. It is a felony to misappropriate even a single government record. The destruction of the emails, moreover, occurred after a House Committee investigating the Benghazi massacre issued subpoenas and preservation directives to Clinton's State Department and Clinton herself. If Andrew Weissmann and the rest of the Mueller probe pit-bulls had half as solid an obstruction case against Donald Trump, the president would by now have been impeached, removed, and indicted.
And that dichotomy is the point, isn't it?
In the Obama Justice Department -- as extended by the Mueller investigation, staffed by Obama Justice Department officials and other Clinton-friendly Democrats -- justice was dispensed with a partisan eye. If you were Hillary Clinton, you skated. If you were Donald Trump, they were determined to dig until they found something -- and, even when they failed to make a case, the digging never stopped . . . it just shifted to Capitol Hill.
No one knows the skewed lay of the land better than Andrew McCabe.
The FBI's former deputy director is in the Justice Department's crosshairs. His lawyers are reportedly pleading with top officials not to indict him for lying to FBI agents who were probing a leak of investigative information, orchestrated by none other than McCabe.
McCabe is feeling the heat because the evidence that he made false statements is daunting. So daunting, in fact, that even he concedes he did not tell the truth to investigators. Listen carefully to what he says about the case -- there being no shortage of public commentary on it from the newly minted CNN analyst. He never "deliberately misled anyone," he insists. Sure, he grudgingly admits, some of his statements "were not fully accurate," or perhaps were "misunderstood" by his interrogators. But "at worst," you see, "I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted."
Seems to me that General Michael Flynn "may well have been confused and distracted," too. After all, it was on Flynn's insanely busy first full day on the job as the new president's national-security adviser that McCabe and Comey dispatched two agents -- Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka -- to brace him for an interview.
As our Rich Lowry recounts, Comey later bragged to an audience of like-minded anti-Trumpers at the 92nd Street Y that he knew this was a breach of protocol. Because seeking to interview a member of the president's staff in a criminal investigation is a big deal, the Bureau is supposed to go through the attorney general, who alerts the White House counsel. That ensures that the administration is aware of the situation, and that the suspected staffer is advised of the reason for the interview and given an opportunity to consult with a lawyer.
Of course, if protocol had been followed, McCabe would not have been able to have Flynn grilled without preparation and without counsel. That put Flynn in a very different posture from Hillary Clinton.
She got every courtesy. The FBI not only scheduled her interview well in advance; before she showed up, before they asked her a single question, they had already finished drafting Comey's statement exonerating her. Not just that. Clinton was permitted to bring along -- among her phalanx of lawyers -- her State Department aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, key witnesses who had gotten immunity from prosecution. (In a real investigation, they'd have been considered subjects, not witnesses.) Allowing witnesses to sit in as lawyers was not just a violation of Justice Department practice (to say nothing of common sense). Federal criminal law prohibits former officials from lobbying the government on behalf of another person in a matter in which the former official was heavily involved while working for the government.
Recall that when he decided against an indictment of Clinton, Comey famously pronounced that "no reasonable prosecutor" would charge her. Even though Clinton's conduct technically transgressed the law, the then-director rationalized that he could find no prior Espionage Act prosecution for gross negligence on facts analogous to Clinton's case.
Where exactly would we expect find analogous facts? Not much precedent about secretaries of state sedulously setting up non-government communications systems for years of correspondence involving thousands of classified communications. But let's put this historical anomaly aside. Let's even ignore that military officials have been prosecuted for less-egregious classified-information violations. Here's the point: In giving Clinton a pass, Comey explained that "responsible" prosecutorial decisions "consider the context of a person's actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past."
Okay . . . then how is it that General Flynn gets investigated and charged?
Flynn, as a member of Trump's transition team and incoming national-security adviser, had been consulting with the Russian ambassador, among other foreign counterparts. Context? There was nothing illegal or illegitimate about such communications. And even if it had been appropriate for the FBI and the Justice Department to inquire into the foreign policy of the incoming president elected by the American people, the Bureau did not need to interview Flynn. They had recordings of the conversations. What reason could there have been to question Flynn about them -- without playing the recordings for him -- except to lay the groundwork for a false-statements prosecution?
Moreover, how have similar situations been handled in the past? In investigating Flynn, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI theorized that he might have violated the Logan Act, a dubious law that purports to criminalize foreign policy freelancing by private citizens. Despite being on the books for over two centuries, the Logan Act has never resulted in a successful prosecution. Not once. In fact, it has not even been used to indict anyone in the last 170 years. Indeed, but for its desuetude, the Logan Act would certainly have been held unconstitutional; because the Justice Department never invokes it, no one has had the opportunity to challenge it. Yet, the Logan Act was used to justify investigating Flynn -- a transition official whose very job entailed consultation with foreign officials.
As we noted a few days ago , the FBI and Mueller's investigators prosecuted George Papadopoulos for lying about the date of a meeting. Though the lie was inconsequential to the probe, they made the then-28-year-old eat a felony charge. And while they could easily have had his lawyer surrender him for processing on the charge and quick release on bail, they instead choreographed an utterly unnecessary nighttime arrest that forced him to spend a night in jail.
Suffice it to say that Paul Combetta did not get the Papadopoulos brass-knuckles treatment.
Combetta was not prosecuted even though he brazenly lied to the FBI about the circumstances of his destruction of Clinton's private emails. He was the key witness who had been in communication with Clinton confederates before and after his bleach-bit blitz through Clinton's emails. In a normal case, prosecutors would charge him with obstruction and false statements to pressure him into cooperating. In the Clinton caper, though, he was given immunity . . . and duly clammed up.
No false-statements charges against Combetta. No false-statements charges against Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, intimate Clinton aides who claimed not to know about Clinton's private server while they worked for her at the State Department -- even though emails show them involved in discussions about the server.
In the Clinton investigation, if you were a lawyer, such as Mills and Samuelson, the Obama Justice Department said "pretty please" and gave you immunity -- rather than a subpoena -- to induce you to surrender private laptop computers containing classified Clinton emails. And then the Justice Department, in consultation with the Clinton camp's lawyers, imposed restrictions on what the FBI could look at and what its agents could ask. After all, we wouldn't want to imperil the attorney-client privilege, right?
Well, at least as long as you were not a lawyer in the Trump-Russia investigation. If you were, as was Melissa Laurenza, an attorney who worked for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, prosecutors and the FBI compelled you to testify about client communications. If you were Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the FBI executed search warrants at your home and office, and you were prosecuted. So was Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney who worked with Manafort and Gates in representing Ukrainian interests. He was induced to plead guilty to a false-statements charge in the Mueller probe.
And needless to say, if you were Manafort, there was no act-of-production immunity for you. And no one asked "pretty please" for you to turn over evidence. Under the Mueller team's direction, the FBI got search warrants allowing them to break into Manafort's home before dawn and at gunpoint to seize documents. Of course, this seems like kid-gloves treatment compared to what was done to Manafort's friend and fellow Trump adviser, Roger Stone. The S.W.A.T.-style raid on Stone's home included helicopter surveillance, an amphibious team (apparently to guard against escape by sea), and so many FBI vehicles that the CNN crew that just happened to be on scene almost couldn't find a parking space! Was that show of force really necessary for a 66-year-old man charged with nonviolent process crimes whom the court released on bail a few hours later?
Mueller spent nearly two years trying to make an obstruction case against Trump for endeavoring to influence the Russia investigation. Congressional Democrats are still trying to breathe impeachment life into this effort. By contrast, the media-Democrat complex was unperturbed when Obama publicly announced in April 2016 that he did not think Clinton should be indicted. Far from accusing the 44th president of endeavoring to influence an investigation, the prosecutors and the press amplified Obama's narrative that Clinton had not intended to harm the country -- and dutifully looked the other way when the FBI airbrushed Obama's name out of Comey's Clinton exoneration speech (the president having knowingly communicated with Clinton through her unsecure server when she emailed him from a hostile foreign country).
The goal was to make Clinton's crimes disappear, while suspicions about Trump were was blazoned on the public consciousness. Even though the Trump-Russia probe was a counterintelligence investigation, then-director Comey went public about it in March 2017 congressional testimony.
That was stunning. It is not enough to say that the Justice Department and the FBI customarily neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation, no matter how comparatively trivial. Counterintelligence investigations are classified. They are never spoken of. Yet, Comey both revealed the investigation and identified the Trump campaign as a subject, suspected of "coordinating" in Russia's cyberespionage. For good measure, he gratuitously added that an assessment would be made about whether crimes had been committed. As any sensible person would have foreseen, the FBI director's proclamation was taken by the media and the public as a signal that President Trump was the prime suspect in one of the most heinous crimes in American history.
To say the least, a different tune was sung in the Clinton emails probe. There, Comey acceded to the instructions of Obama's attorney general, Loretta Lynch, that he not publicly speak of it as an investigation. Just call it "a matter," he was told. Funny thing about that: it sounded exactly like what the Clinton campaign was saying at the time.
I don't pretend to be a McCabe fan. Nevertheless, I have sympathy for him. The 2016 election will define his career, but it does not fairly reflect his long years of service defending the rule of law and American national security. If we could consider his case in a vacuum, and I had my druthers, I would not want to charge him. He was fired for cause in disgrace and is slated to lose at least some of his pension. These are significant penalties. I'd like to be able to say, "Enough is enough, no need to pile on with an indictment."
But there's more to it than that. A lot more.
For one thing, McCabe is suing the government for wrongful termination, arguing that he was fired due to a political vendetta carried on by President Trump. I certainly agree that the president should not have commented on McCabe's case or status. As I've repeatedly argued, the president's often-unhinged commentary makes investigations and prosecutions much more difficult to execute. It has already resulted in slap-on-the-wrist treatment for deserter Bowe Bergdahl, who should have received a stiff sentence.
That said, though, it is an audacious strategy on McCabe's part to (a) ask the Justice Department to exercise clemency by declining to charge an eminently prosecutable false-statements case against him, while (b) simultaneously hauling the Justice Department into court on an accusation of bad faith in a case in which McCabe leaked and then provided explanations that weren't true. If I were the attorney general, my inclination would be to say, "If he's going to make us go to war, let's go to war on offense -- indict him."
More significantly, we are now living in a law-enforcement world of McCabe's making.
Again, in a better world, I'd prefer to take account of the considerable positive side of McCabe's ledger and what he's already suffered, especially if he exhibited some contrition. That is, I'd ordinarily be open to declining prosecution. But then, how about the positive side of General Flynn's ledger? And why, if it would be overkill to charge McCabe was it not overkill to charge Papadopoulos? Why do Clinton, Mills, Abedin, and Combetta get a pass in a criminal investigation triggered by actual crimes, but Flynn, Papadopoulos, van der Zwaan, and Stone get hammered in an investigation predicated by no crime -- just a fever dream of Trump-Russia cyberespionage conspiracy?
FBI and Justice Department officials keep telling us they grasp that there must be one standard of justice applicable to everyone, not a two-tiered system. So, here's the question: If Andrew McCabe's name were Michael Flynn, how much mercy could he expect from, say, Andrew Weissmann?
Aug 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Update (1455ET) : The White House has issued an extremely strong statement on the Inspector General's report:Statement from the Press Secretory
James Comey is a proven liar and leaker. The Inspector General's report shows Comey violated the most basic obligations of confidentiality that he owed to the United States Government and to the American people, "in order to achieve a personally desired outcome."
Because Comey shamefully leaked information to the press - in blatant violation of FBI policies - the Nation was forced to endure the baseless politically-motivated, two-year witch hunt.
Comey disgraced himself and his office to further a personal political agenda, and this report further confirms that fact.
* * *
Update (1405ET) : President Trump has taken a momentary break from helping Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis batten down the hatches ahead of Hurricane Dorian's weekend landfall - and from doing everything he can to pump the market - by taking a shot at disgraced former FBI director James Comey following the Thursday publication of the DoJ's IG report, which confirmed that Comey violated both DoJ policy and the law, by leaking the contents of his memos to the press.
"Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just-released Inspector General's Report," Trump tweeted. "He should be ashamed of himself!"
Of course, as we mentioned below, Comey doesn't see it that way. But maybe, someday, he'll at least acknowledge that he acted rashly - and put his subordinates in a very awkward position - by deciding to leak the memos as an unabashed strategy to try and undermine the newly inaugurated president of the country he claims to love so dearly.
* * *
In a long-awaited report released Thursday morning, the DOJ's inspector general revealed that former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the memos he took from meetings with President Trump before he was unceremoniously fired in early 2017 violated department policy and the law when he shared them with a longtime confidant, who then leaked their contents to the press.
"We conclude that Comey's retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement," the Justice Department inspector general report states.
Fox News Host Sean Hannity warned that Comey should be worried about facing the repercussions for his decision to leak the contents of the memos.
"Without a doubt... [Comey] should be sweating a lot tonight about what might be in those reports. This report is expected to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jim Comey."
The IG's office had referred Comey for potential prosecution earlier this summer based on his handling of the memos, CNN reported. But the DoJ declined to bring a case, in part because prosecutors didn't believe there was evidence to show Comey knew and intended to violate laws pertaining to the handling of classified information.
Still, as Hannity said, things are "not looking good...for Mr. Super Patriot , a guy that knows better than us...we are told that the report will strongly rebuke the disgraced former FBI director, document his utter lack of candor. That means lying, " Hannity said.
As an earlier media report reminded us, the Comey report is separate from a larger report about how the DoJ handled the Russia investigation, though it's still not clear why the separate report is needed.
Comey infamously took created the memos after meetings with President Trump where Trump purportedly asked him to go easy on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Comey then leaked the contents of these memos to a friend through a trusted confidant, helping to spur the launch of the Russia probe.
In a series of tweets replying to the report, Comey tried to spin the report's findings, highlighting a section of the report that was favorable to his narrative.
Here are some highlights from the report, starting with the conclusion:
Congress has provided the FBI with substantial powers and authorities to gather evidence as part of the FBI's criminal and counterintelligence mission. The FBI uses these authorities every day in its many investigations into allegations of drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud, organized crime, public corruption, espionage, and a host of other threats to national security and public safety. In the process, the FBI lawfully gains access to a significant amount of sensitive information about individuals, many of whom have not been charged, may never be charged, or may not even be a subject of the investigation. For this reason, the civil liberties of every individual who may fall within the scope of the FBI's investigative authorities depend on the FBI's ability to protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.
As Comey himself explained in his March 20, 2017 testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he was unable to provide details about the nature or scope of the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election because the FBI is very careful in how we handle information about our cases and about the people we are investigating . Our ability to share details with the Congress and the American people is limited when those investigations are still open, which I hope makes sense. We need to protect people's privacy . We just cannot do our work well or fairly if we start talking about it while we're doing it.
However, after his removal as FBI Director two months later, Comey provided a copy of Memo 4, which Comey had kept without authorization, to Richman with instructions to share the contents with a reporter for The New York Times. Memo 4 included information that was related to both the FBI's ongoing investigation of Flynn and, by Comey's own account, information that he believed and alleged constituted evidence of an attempt to obstruct the ongoing Flynn investigation; later that same day, The New York Times published an article about Memo 4 entitled, "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation."
The responsibility to protect sensitive law enforcement information falls in large part to the employees of the FBI who have access to it through their daily duties. On occasion, some of these employees may disagree with decisions by prosecutors, judges, or higher ranking FBI and Department officials about the actions to take or not take in criminal and counterintelligence matters. They may even, in some situations, distrust the legitimacy of those supervisory, prosecutorial, or judicial decisions. But even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information.
Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees -- and the many thousands more former FBI employees -- who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information. Comey said he was compelled to take these actions "if I love this country and I love the Department of Justice, and I love the FBI." However, were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director's example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly, as Comey himself noted in his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony. Comey expressed a similar concern to President Trump, according to Memo 4, in discussing leaks of FBI information, telling Trump that the FBI's ability to conduct its work is compromised "if people run around telling the press what we do." This is no doubt part of the reason why Comey's closest advisors used the words "surprised," "stunned," "shocked," and "disappointment" to describe their reactions to learning what Comey had done.
We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with Department policy.103 Comey's unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism. In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.
* * *
If he wanted to force the appointment of a special counsel, the report found that Comey had other lawful options besides leaking to the press, yet, he chose to ignore them.
Comey's unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism. In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome. The OIG has provided this report to the FBI and to the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility for action they deem appropriate.
Even members of Comey's leadership team were "shocked" by the then-director's actions.
IG: Members of Comey's senior leadership team used the adjectives "surprised," "stunned," "shocked," and "disappointment" to describe their reactions to learning that Comey acted on his own to provide the contents of Memo 4, through Richman, to a reporter
As Ryan Saavedra pointed out, the IG found that Comey set a "dangerous example" for the tens of thousands of FBI employees working under him...
...And the "bottom line", as one reporter put it:
Even CNN conceded that the report was "damning" for Comey.
Several Twitter wits sifted through the reports findings pertaining to Comey memos 1 through 7.
Read the full report released on Thursday morning bellow.
o1902 by Zerohedge on Scribd
Questan1913 , 10 minutes ago linkLord Raglan , 3 minutes ago link
Toothless Trump. Pity him. THEY let him play deal maker.......and nothing more. From a citizens point of view this is a lawless, unconstitutional, rogue government. The assassination of Epstein by this criminal government while incarcerated in the most hi-tech federal prison in NYC which incidentally is ATTACHED to the New York office of the Justice Department speaks for itself.Aubiekong , 13 minutes ago link
and the video cameras being "under repair"............what a crock............that's a nice touch........hooligan2009 , 10 minutes ago link
Comey was directed by president Obama to obstruct justice and destroy evidence all to protect Hillary Clinton.navy62802 , 15 minutes ago link
bingo! so was brennan, yates, lynch, rice, mills, samuelson etc etcIndelible Scars , 36 minutes ago link
Without an indictment, this is all meaningless. Nothing more than sound and fury.Lord Raglan , 36 minutes ago link
If this doesn't tell you that our intelligence services are politically biased from the top down, nothing will. It is disgusting that a person like him and frankly, most FBI/CIA tops, can make it into such a dangerous and powerful positions.Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link
Comey and McCabe have such big balls and feel so protected by the Deep State that I wouldn't be surprised if they both run for President on the Dem ticket when a few more of them get washed out.lakecity55 , 37 minutes ago link
Oligarchs = Deep State ..............semantics...............
I'll bet this ********** is never prosecuted; in fact, the (((people))) he works for will likely enrich him with even more cash. He will live out his life untouched with every convenience money can buy in a huge home within a wealthy enclave.
The US is finished. People like Cummie helped kill the United States. I hope this ******* **** is happy with his money.Real Estate Guru , 55 minutes ago link
Giant Meteor , 55 minutes ago link
- Gregg Jarrett: Comey's Not Out of the Woods Yet -- Prosecutors May be Awaiting Results of FISA Abuse Investigation
- President Trump Slams 'Thoroughly Disgraced' James Comey Over Scathing Inspector General Findings
- Lindsey Graham Goes Off on IG's 'Stunning & Unprecedented Rebuke' of Comey, Predicts More To Come
- Lindsey Graham Wants to Know Who in Obama WH Knew About Trump Counterintelligence Investigation
- Dirty Cop James Comey Sends Bizarre Tweet Asking For People To Admit They "Lied" And "Defamed" Him After OIG Releases Damning Report Finding He Violated Department and FBI Policies
- Radical Muslim Democrat Homewrecker Ilhan Omar Demands UN Take Control of US Borders
- James Comey Violated Multiple Policies by Leaking Memos, DOJ Watchdog Concludes
- R-A-C-I-S-T! Taxpayer $$$ in Democrat San Francisco Funds Screening of Movie "Why Don't We Murder More White People?"
- President Trump: 'Crazy' O'Donnell 'Forced to Apologize' for 'Totally Inaccurate Reporting'
- FLASHBACK: Woman Stoned to Death for Adultery in Ilhan Omar's Home Muslim Country of Somalia [No Wonder She Doesn't Go Back]Roger Rabbit , 34 minutes ago link
Look you mugs, no prosecution of high level players post " global financial crisis" ever occurred. As the official story went, sure, there was some perhaps bad, tsk, tsk, judgement by high level players, and corrupt revolving door " government enforcers", but no crimes were ever committed, the verdict.
Except some very smart folks, that most citizens never heard of, and never will hear of, whom received absolutely zero play in the mainstream, whom diligentlly, methodically, laid out their ironclad case for prosecution, law, and procedure, on a variety of ummm, inconsistencies, and existing law, pointing to this thing known as control fraud, top among the provable crimes of the nations top men,
Clear as a ******* bell ..
Then there was John Corzine. Anyone remember him?
Nope, the departnent of just us, under the Obama regime simply wouldn't hear of such heresy .. nor his own justice head, Eric the place holder, and thus, systemically important, to big too fail " entities" , their execs, and a bevy of non prosecution agreement, no admissions of guilt, were born again .. free to continue hold on to their assets, free to continue new crime waves ..
The point is .. this matter before you now, being another scale, another aspect, but drawing water from the same poisoned chalice if government service , is how should one say, business as usual. Now tell me again about all those differences, between red team and blue team.
Follow the fiat, the bribes, the control fraud, the control files, which of course all draws ALL power through, and from the money changers, and their system.Real Estate Guru , 59 minutes ago link
Because, if you actually read the ******* article, the memos weren't classified. So there's not much to go after him with. HOWEVER, he signed off on a FISA warrant which Horowitz determined was illegal. He will be in trouble further down the line..SHsparx , 47 minutes ago link
DOJ declines to prosecute James Comey on inspector general referral for leaking classified info
by Daniel Chaitin
& Jerry Dunleavy
| July 31, 2019 09:33 PM
The Justice Department declined to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey following a criminal referral from the agency's independent watchdog, which concluded that Comey had leaked classified information and showed a lack of candor with investigators.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz reached out to prosecutors about one of the memos Comey leaked to a friend, which detailed a conversation he had with President Trump, after he was fired by President Trump in May 2017.
Although prosecutors found the watchdog's findings compelling, they decided against prosecution under classified information protection laws because of there being too much uncertainty surrounding Comey's intent, according to the Hill . A month after he was fired, Comey testified to Congress he had leaked his notes to a friend to give to the media, hoping that it would spark a special counsel investigation.
Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel the day after the New York Times first reported on details from one of Comey's leaked memos, which claimed Trump pressed his FBI director to drop an investigation into his national security adviser Michael Flynn. That memo was classified as "confidential" -- the lowest classification level -- after Comey sent the information.
With other investigations focused on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation underway, one source said the DOJ did not want to "make its first case against the Russia investigators with such thin margins and look petty and vindictive."
Comey's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokespeople for the DOJ and its inspector general also did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.
The news comes hours after conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced it had obtained an FBI log about special agents arriving at Comey's home in June 2017 to retrieve his memos. The notes show Comey handed over four of them to the FBI agents, and he said to the best of his recollection two might be missing.
Although the DOJ declined to prosecute in this case, Comey, who has become a vocal critic of the president since his ouster, is not yet in the clear.
Comey is also a possible target of Horowitz's separate investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse. He signed three of the four FISA applications targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page before being fired by Trump. Horowitz's report is expected to be released after Labor Day.
It is also likely that Comey's actions as FBI director will be scrutinized during the "investigation of the investigators," a review of the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, being led by Attorney General William Barr and the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham.freedommusic , 1 hour ago link
To what end though? There's a point where it veers from just delusion and starts looking like intentional disinfo.puckles , 57 minutes ago link
Their business model is STRESS... https://youtu.be/8Py2XuPTOQI?t=1042Anunnaki , 54 minutes ago link
OIG has no authority to indict (although their law enforcement arms can and do recommend for prosecution, which would not be produced here), but in most .GOV agencies their word is feared like that of almighty God. This report is utterly damning. If nothing results from it, it would be truly remarkable.Darracq , 1 hour ago link
Watch the pretzel logic for when the prosecutors decline to indict. It's a country club. They are all friends outside of work. Comey and Mueller took vacations together with their families for ChrissakesAnunnaki , 54 minutes ago link
Trump appointed deep state POS to key positions: Sessions then Barr, Wray at the FBI, Rosenshits gets to sneak away, Dan Coats gets to obstruct. Where are all the buckets of FISA documents that Trump ordered Barr to declassify? And tough guy "Mad Dog" Mattis is a ****** and sells out to Amazon. We are being had.
Apparently the coup is ongoing
Aug 29, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Federal prosecutors have been weighing for well over a year whether to charge McCabe, after the Justice Department's inspector general alleged that McCabe had misled investigators several times about a media disclosure regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton's family foundation.
By the inspector general's telling, McCabe approved the disclosure and later -- when asked about the matter by investigators with the FBI's inspection division and inspector general's office -- denied having done so. McCabe's attorney has said previously that his statements "are more properly understood as the result of misunderstanding, miscommunication, and honest failures of recollection based on the swirl of events around him." Lying to investigators is a federal crime."
This whole thing has the odor of something by Dostoevsky, C&P maybe?
"Who will watch the watchers?" Well, if Barr and company are not going to indict these characters, the answer is NOBODY!
If you read the long litany of articles on SST by David Habakkuk and Larry Johnson, the pattern of a soft coup conspiracy against the possibility of HC's defeat is quite clear.
And then following her loss, largely brought on IMO, by her unwillingness to cultivate the Deplorables, the semi-Deplorables and the Irredeemable Deplorables, this disdain on her part for ordinary people was further displayed in her offhand dismissal of coal miners as future wards of the state.
Once she had lost, the plot rolled on in an effort to make the ultimate Deplorable a failure in office.
It is de rigeur to write that both parties should feel equally wounded by the plot but they do not. pl
We have to make it clear that fidelity to the constitution is not a pretense. IMO HRC and Obama are at the heart of this matter, but better to scourge them and let them go.
Aug 25, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
I am revisiting a story I did nine months ago about Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier ( you can read it here ). Let me cut to the chase--Felix Sater was an FBI informant since 1998. He was originally signed on as a "cooperator" in December 1998 by Robert Mueller's number two guy, Andrew Weissman. Robert Mueller and his team used Felix Sater as a "lure" or "bait" to tempt Trump and his team, Michael Cohen in particular, to work with Russia. Trump did not bite.
Robert Mueller did not disclose that Sater was an FBI Informant. Mueller did not disclose that Sater was deliberately used starting in September 2015 to entrap Donald Trump. I am revisiting this issue because a Sater's work for the Feds was unsealed last Friday by Judge Glasser in New York. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Felix Sater, a former business associate of President Trump, began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme. As he pleaded guilty, Mr. Sater turned on his co-conspirators, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn wrote in an Aug. 27, 2009, letter , unsealed Friday, to U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser, who was overseeing the case. He had gone on to assist various agencies in different areas of law enforcement for years, they wrote.
"Sater went above and beyond what is expected of most cooperators and placed himself in great jeopardy in doing so," the prosecutors wrote in pushing for him to get a lighter sentence. On the strength of his continuing cooperation, they had put off his sentencing for more than a decade, an unusually long period for such arrangements.As I tried to unpeel the onion that is the layered life of Felix Sater, I came across an excellent article by Newsweek reporter Bill Powell, Donald Trump Associate Felix Sater Is Linked to the Mob and the CIA -- What's His Role in the Russia Investigation? . It is worth your time. One of the surprising revelations from Powell is that Felix Sater was a childhood friend of Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer. Let that sink in for a moment. The FBI informant, Felix Sater, was a long time friend of Cohen. This now provides another explanation for how Michael Cohen became part of the Trump orbit. Did Felix Sater, while an active FBI informant, introduce Cohen to Trump? (Sater and his company, Bayrock, started working with Trump in 2003 while Cohen did not start working for Trump until 2006).
Sater, as we now know, played a central role in the FBI plot to destroy Donald Trump by proposing a Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump did not take the bait. No Trump Tower in Moscow deal was ever done. Sater also provides, unwittingly, direct evidence that part of the Christopher Steele Dossier is a fraud and a fabrication.
One of the very first reports provided by Christopher Steele insists that the Russians were working overtime to get Trump in bed with them on "lucrative real estate deals." The Steele report dated 20 June 2016 makes the following claims:Steele's claim that the "Kremlin," as part of a broader scheme to recruit Trump as a Russian asset, was "offering him various lucrative real development" deals in Russia, is refuted by the article by Newsweek's Bill Powell and by Robert Mueller's report
Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years. . . .
In terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years (see more below). . . .
The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia , especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.
Bill Powell reported the following in Newsweek:
[Felix Sater] and his childhood friend, Michael Cohen -- then a lawyer and dealmaker for the Trump Organization -- had been working for more than a decade, on and off, to build a Trump Tower in Moscow . The New York real estate mogul had long wanted to see his name on a glitzy building in the Russian capital, but the project had never materialized.
Where are all of those "lucrative deals" the Kremlin was supposedly offering up? Nowhere. It was a lie.
Felix Sater was the ones telling Trump to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Sater, according to Newsweek's Powell, was not a close confidant of Trump:
In , Sater says he met Trump, thanks to his work for Bayrock, the real estate company. . . Sater raised money for Bayrock from, among others, a wealthy businessman from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, and he persuaded people in Trump's orbit -- including Cohen, his old friend -- to bring his deals before the boss. Two of the ideas worked out. Sater and the New York real estate mogul eventually worked on the Trump SoHo in Manhattan and a hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which failed after the 2008 economic crisis. He and Trump, Sater claims, were friendly but not particularly close.
Powell does not report the Russians offering up any "lucrative" real estate deal.
Powell's account is consistent with the information present by Robert Mueller in the Charging Indictment of Michael Cohen. While the Steele Dossier makes the claim that the Russian Government was offering up "lucrative projects" to the Trump organization, Michael Cohen never made such a claim. The details in the charging document show otherwise; i.e., that Felix Sater was pushing the projects :
The Moscow Project was discussed multiple times within the Company and did not end in January 2016. Instead, as late as approximately June 2016, COHEN and Individual 2 discussed efforts to obtain Russian governmental approval for the Moscow Project.
Why does the Trump organization need to "obtain Russian governmental approval" if, per the Steele Dossier, the Russians are offering up a slew of "lucrative" deals?
The charging document provides further detail on Cohen and Sater's interaction with Russian officials. In early January 2016, Michael Cohen sent an email to Vladimir Putin's Press Secretary. The Secretary responded:
On or about January 14, 2016, COHEN emailed Russian Official 1's office asking for assistance in connection with the Moscow Project.
On or about January 20, 2016, COHEN received an email from the personal assistant to Russian Official 1 ("Assistant 1"), stating that she had been trying to reach COHEN and requesting that he call her using a Moscow-based phone number she provided.
Shortly after receiving the email, COHEN called Assistant 1 and spoke to her for approximately 20 minutes. On that call, COHEN described his position at the Company and outlined the proposed Moscow Project, including the Russian development company with which the Company had partnered. COHEN requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction. Assistant 1 asked detailed questions and took notes, stating that she would follow up with others in Russia.
Notwithstanding these communications, the Moscow project was terminated in June 2016. And it was Felix Sater aka "Individual 2", not the Russians, pushing for going to Russia and making a deal. No evidence of Russians offering up "lucrative deals."
From on or about June 9 to June 14, 2016, Individual 2 sent numerous messages to COHEN about the travel, including forms for COHEN to complete. However, on or about June 14, 2016, COHEN met Individual 2 in the lobby of the Company's headquarters to inform Individual 2 he would not be traveling at that time.
If the Steele Dossier was true, Trump should have had multiple project going on in Russia, especially Moscow. Steele paints a picture of Putin's people feeding Trump information and opportunity. So where is the evidence of such activity? There is none.
The Mueller report reinforces the fact that Felix Sater was the one proposing doing the deal in Moscow and talking to the Russians. THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller's report, originated with an FBI Informant--Felix Sater. Here's what the Mueller Report states:
In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).
Mueller, as I have noted previously , is downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. We now know without a doubt that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater's status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012 (you can read the letter confirming Sater's status as an FBI snitch here ). Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller's Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business .
All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.
All of this raises very troubling issues about FBI misconduct. Under what authority did The FBI initiate the "Moscow Tower" play in September 2015. We are supposed to believe that the FBI counter intelligence investigation, aka Crossfire Hurricane, only began the end of July 2016 because of an alarming report from an Australian diplomat. We now know that is a lie.
The revelations about Sater add to the urgency to expose the FBI's criminality and malevolence.
[For more on Sater please see my previous posts, Felix Sater--The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump? , Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier .]
exiled off mainstreet , 25 August 2019 at 06:46 PMMr.Johnson has done good work on these issues throughout the whole time this initiative has gone on. It reveals the level of rot in the structure of the secret police operation carried on by the US government and shows that it probably cannot be reformed from within but that the only solution which might work is the dissolution of the existing institutions and some form of starting over, something which is, of course, highly unlikely to be achieved.Factotum , 25 August 2019 at 06:50 PMThank you for tying so many of these loose ends together, these past few years. It is quacking like a duck to me.Fred , 25 August 2019 at 07:51 PMHow many other people were successfully railroaded by the FBI and was Barack the only president they were doing this under?blue peacock , 25 August 2019 at 08:46 PMSomething just doesn't add up for me when Trump who was the target of these spying and information operations doesn't use the power and authority of POTUS to expose all the communications and actions of these people. Why? What is he hiding or what is he afraid of?Larry Johnson -> blue peacock... , 25 August 2019 at 09:54 PMIt is very simple. Trump is relying on the judicial process out of fear that if he did unilaterally release this info he could be accused of "obstructing justice."akaPatience , 25 August 2019 at 09:54 PMTrump announced his candidacy June 16, 2015. SO, by September the FBI had begun its operation against him. It seems like a fairly quick mobilization.
Were Obama and Clinton so insecure that they felt they needed to resort to this, or are they both so corrupt that this was business as usual?
Christopher Steele, Felix Sater, Josef Mifsud, Stephan Halper, Alexander Downer -- so far there are at least 5 known to have connections to the IC who tried to entrap Trump. We need a summary with an index since there's so much corruption to keep straight -- Hillary's Vast Left-wing Conspiracy.
Aug 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese Diplomat who reportedly told George Papadopoulos that Russia had Hillary's emails, was a British intelligence asset (known as a "Joe" among British spies). But the Brits did not keep Mifsud for themselves. They offered him to the CIA and the FBI, and those two US agencies, in a coordinated effort, relied on Mifsud to entrap Papadopoulos and to manufacture a Russian collusion case against the Trump Campaign.
Mifsud's job was simple--dangle the possibility of getting Hillary's emails from the Russians, offer up meetings with Russian Government officials and introduce Papadopoulos to another Western intelligence operative who pretended to be the niece of Vladimir Putin (Putin does not have a niece). These communications were recorded and then used against Papadopoulos.
The FBI falsely claims that they learned of the Papadopoulos "meeting" with Mifsud two months after it happened from an Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, who also was tied closely to British intelligence and the Clintons. But this story does not hold water. Take a look at the criminal complaint filed against Papadopoulos ( see here ).
The complaint recounts meetings, emails and conversations that George Papadopoulos had with Professor Mifsud and people Mifsud introduced to Papadopoulos.Where the hell did the FBI get that information? Remember, they charged George with lying to the FBI because of discrepancies between what he told Agents and what Agents claimed was actually said and written.
The meaning of this leaves only two possibilities--the FBI secured a FISA warrant against Papadopoulos sometime in March or April of 2016 or the Brits and American intelligence intercepted the communications between Papadopoulos and the Mifsud crew.
We already know that there is a recording--an exculpatory recording--of Papadopoulos rebuffing the offer to collaborate with the Russians. There was no legal reason to get a FISA warrant against Papadopoulos. And anything collected by British intelligence and passed to the CIA or NSA could not be used as evidence. There is much more to this story to unravel.
What should shock all civil libertarians and Americans of good will is that the public has been bamboozled into believing that Joseph Mifsud was a Russian intelligence operative. But there is no evidence whatsoever for that claim. Please look at the Mueller Report (I have copied key sections and inserted below, at the end of this article). Mueller only claims that, "Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor who had connections to Russia and traveled to Moscow in April 2016." If that is the standard, then Bill Clinton is a Russian intelligence asset--Clinton has connections to Russia (he got paid a lot of money by the Russians) and he traveled to Moscow.
If you want to get the full picture of Mifsud's ties to British intelligence, the CIA and the FBI, I encourage you to read, The Death of Russiagate?, Mueller team tied to Mifsud network, a tangled web . This article provides actual evidence about the intelligence pedigree of Joseph Mifsud. Robert Mueller, by contrast, provides not one single piece of actual evidence. Mueller and his team of clown lawyers relied on innuendo and guilt by association.
If this had been a genuine counter-intelligence investigation, then the FBI should have asked one fundamental question--"Who is Joseph Mifsud working for?" They did not need to ask The FBI knew the answer. Joseph Mifsud was working for the CIA and the FBI with the permission of the British MI-6.
I hope the full dimensions of this hoax will be exposed. George Papadopoulos was nothing more than a naive, eager patsy. A young guy who wanted to be important to the Trump campaign got played.
Here are salient sections of the Mueller Report. Read them for yourself and you will see that Mifsud was never fingered as a Russian intelligence asset. You were just asked to believe this nonsense. Sadly, many seemingly smart people have bought into this lie.
Spring 2016. Campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos made early contact with Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor who had connections to Russia and traveled to Moscow in April 2016. Immediately upon his return to London from that trip, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. One week later, in the first week of May 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign? through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton. Throughout that period of time and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government. No meeting took place. . . .
George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor during the campaign period , pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about, inter alia, the nature and timing of his interactions with Joseph Mifsud, the professor who told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on candidate Clinton .in the form of thousands of emails. . . .
In late April 2016, Papadopoulos was told by London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, immediately after Mifsud 's return from a trip to Moscow, that the Russian government had obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. . . .Throughout the relevant period of time and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government. That meeting never came to pass. (p. 81)
The purpose of the trip was to meet officials affiliated with Link Campus University, a for-profit institution headed by a former Italian government official.412 During the visit , Papadopoulos was introduced to Joseph Mifsud. (p. 83)
Mifsud is a Maltese national who worked as a professor at the London Academy of Diplomacy in London, England. 413 Although Mifsud worked out of London and was also affiliated with LCILP, the encounter in Rome was the first time that Papadopoulos met him.414 Mifsud maintained various Russian contacts while living in London, as described further below. Among his contacts was ,XXXX a one-time employee of the IRA,. . . In January and February 2016, Mifsud and - discussed possibly meeting in Russia. (p. 83)
According to Papadopoulos , Mifsud at first seemed uninterested in Papadopoulos when they met in Rome. After Papadopoulos informed Mifsud about his role in the Trump Campaign, however, Mifsud appeared to take greater interest in Papadopoulos. The two discussed Mifsud 's European and Russian contacts and had a general discussion about Russia; Mifsud also offered to introduce Papadopoulos to European leaders and others with contacts to the Russian government. Papadopoulos told the Office that Mifsud 's claim of substantial connections with Russian government officials interested Papadopoulos, who thought that such connections could increase his importance as a policy advisor to the Trump Campaign. (p. 83)
On March 24, 2016, Papadopoulos met with Mifsud in London. 422 Mifsud was accompanied by a Russian female named Olga Polonskaya. Mifsud introduced Polonskaya as a former student of his who had connections to Vladimir Putin. (p. 84)
During the meeting, Polonskaya offered to help Papadopoulos establish contacts in Russia and stated that the Russian ambassador in London was a friend of hers .425 Based on this interaction, Papadopoulos expected Mifsud and Polonskaya to introduce him to the Russian ambassador in London, but that did not occur. (p. 84)
Throughout April 2016, Papadopoulos continued to correspond with , meet with, and seek Russia contacts through Mifsud and , at times , Polonskaya. For example, within a week of her initial March 24 meeting with him, Polonskaya attempted to send Papadopoulos a text messagewhich email exchanges show to have been drafted or edited by Mifsud-addressing Papadopoulos 's "wish to engage with the Russian Federation." When Papadopoulos learned from Mifsud that Polonskaya had tried to message him , he sent her an email seeking another meeting. (p. 87)
Mifsud , who had been copied on the email exchanges, replied on the morning of April 11, 2016. He wrote, "This is already been agreed. I am flying to Moscow on the 18th for a Valdai meeting, plus other meetings at the Duma. We will talk tomorrow." 448 The two bodies referenced by Mifsud are part of or associated with the Russian government: the Duma is a Russian legislative assembly, 449 while "Valdai" refers to the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based group that "is close to Russia's foreign-policy establishment." 450 Papadopoulos thanked Mifsud and said that he would see him "tomorrow." 451 (p. 87)
Following the meeting, Mifsud traveled as planned to Moscow.455 On April 18, 2016, while in Russia, Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos over email to Ivan Timofeev, a member of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).456 Mifsud had described Timofeev as having connections with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA),457 the executive entity in Russia responsible for Russian foreign relations. (p. 88)
After a stop in Rome, Mifsud returned to England on April 25, 2016.462 The next day, Papadopoulos met Mifsud for breakfast at the Andaz Hotel (the same location as their last meeting). 463 During that meeting, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had met with high-level Russian government officials during his recent trip to Moscow . Mifsud also said that, on the trip, he learned that the Russians had obtained "dirt" on candidate Hillary Clinton. As Papadopoulos later stated to the FBI, Mifsud said that the "dirt" was in the form of " emails of Clinton," and that they "have thousands of emails." (pp. 88-89)
prawnik , 21 August 2019 at 10:33 AMI believe that the term that you are looking for is "entrapment" or something very close.Jack , 21 August 2019 at 05:36 PMLarryJim Ticehurst , 21 August 2019 at 05:39 PM
Appreciate your efforts in peeling the onion on the shenanigans of our intel and law enforcement agencies. This Russia Collusion/SpyGate story was a regular topic at our monthly "guys night out" gathering at a local watering hole. However at our last gathering the general consensus was "who cares" if Trump the butt of these machinations is unwilling to Drain the Swamp by declassifying. Why do you think Trump is not aggressively going after Brennan, Comey, Clapper, et al?Larry..Fits The Timeline of for Operations that already been planned in Advance.while watching the Election Result for Trump and Hillary..in 2016..By March 2016 the States were making their choices... 2016..s clear..Long before May. ,,,.Using Its Profile Data n obtained By Fusion GPS..since October 2015..AND..??????.What sources were they Using..Why...and were they actually being Given MISINFORMATION.??.then through It. all these Events.Happened..This,,.Operation you write of.....in May to June...The Steele Dossier Operation was Conducted..The Muller Team..And Case Built..An Extra Ordinary SUPER PACK..and Illegal..(THE REAL COLLUSION).. Operation..So Now...Its Time for the TRUTH..Jim Ticehurst said in reply to Jim Ticehurst... , 21 August 2019 at 07:23 PMalso..to me...The..."Mystery Woman " in this Spy story...would be Nellie Ohr..especially the European Operations...and That to Me..Has Brennen Finger Prints..on The "Dossier"...So..Background..an d Fine Tuning...Jim Ticehurst said in reply to Jim Ticehurst... , 21 August 2019 at 11:36 PMWhy Nellie Ohr..Because She her time line go's from The Steel Dossier and Fusion GPS meetings With Obama..Clinton connected People like Attorney Edwin Lieberman..Husband of Hillary Clintons Chief of Staff..To Ukrainetothe" Black Ledger.also a HOAX..To.."Joe.Bidens Connections to the Ukraine..and back to herto work at CIA Open Source Operations..All done Under the time Period when John Brennen was Director ..DCI..of the CIA...Appointed by President OBAMA..To Replace General Petraeus..who looks like He may have been another.PAWN ..and Put into the DCI position on Purpose by Obama..Way back in September 2011..Stephen McIntyre , 21 August 2019 at 07:54 PM
Someone advised DCI Petraeus..to use the same TRANSITIONAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS..
That Petraeus had Used in the Field During Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.Believing They were SECURE Systems..
Apparently those Systems had already been Hacked By IRAN and China..Long before Obama ...
Made his deals with Iran..Petraeus got into a Affair tht Compromised Him..(Setup),,?? and The FBI..Under Director Muller to General Petraus Out..Shame him..Brought Charges...and Petraeus was Replaced with John Brennen as DCI..in On..Nov...2012...Then Bob Muller was replaced at the FBI,,was replaced By James Comey..In September 2013...ALL Events Occurred during The time Barrack Obama was President..Jan 20...2009 to Jan 20th,,2017...and...Brennen and Nellie Ohr were in the Middle of everything that happened..All Operations..ALL Information gathering..
And ALL Intended to Blame The Russians..and Protect all other Poker Game High Rollers..Including The "Ukraine Train..' Thi is just a Theory..Based on "Open Information...
you're being far too kind to Papadop, who, while "naive" and "eager", was also a serial liar and fantasist, whose lies, amplified by unethical Mueller thugs, have caused a lot of trouble. He's made matters worse by spreading new fantasies, which have been uncritically believed by far too many.Larry Johnson -> Stephen McIntyre... , 21 August 2019 at 08:15 PMGeorge proved to be an easy mark. I don't beat up on "nobodies." Papadopoulos qualifies as such in my book. He had done nothing to distinguish himself and suddenly had the world thrust on him. I do feel sorry for hm. This is akin to raping a retarded girl.h -> Larry Johnson ... , 23 August 2019 at 10:25 AMThis response is spot on, Larry. Excellent comment.akaPatience , 21 August 2019 at 09:45 PMAND YET the MSM largely remain AWOL on this and related subjects. They must figure if they continue to hear, see and speak no evil the voting public will be deaf, dumb and blind to such widespread corruption. It's not encouraging that the FBI and DOJ continue to be intractable when it comes to attempts by Judicial Watch to gain transparency and clarity. Unless something like optimal political timing is a big factor, it's also not encouraging that AG Barr and even the POTUS are still keeping a lid on all of this.William Chan , 22 August 2019 at 06:33 AM
It's going to be very interesting to see if the truth can break through the stonewalling especially when it comes to the 2020 elections. Thanks to this site and a few others, there's still hope. Thank you Larry and Col. Lang.A BIASED FBI means ALL FBI sworn testimony is questionable and unreliable.Fred -> William Chan... , 22 August 2019 at 09:05 AM
A BIASED FBI means every court case outcome in which the FBI has been involved is untrustworthy.
A BIASED FBI means that everything from WACO to Oklahoma Bomb to 9/11 must be reexamined.
The Feds/FBI did a criminally irresponsible job of investigating the Oklahoma Bomb and Sanilac county, with the Militia Culture permeating it. There were TWO militias up there. (1) The CITIZENS Militia, with 85 year old Hattie Farley, which OPPOSED the Sheriff and the "Good Old Boys" and (2) The violence prone, RACIST, PRO-sheriff "element".
Sanilac county Sheriff Virgil Strickler was BFF and business partner with David Rydel, "commandant" of the "united States Theatre Command" militia which is named in the FBI "Project Megiddo" report for Y2K. Strickler let the Rydel militia use the department's shooting range. LOUD explosions on the Nichols farm were repeatedly reported to Strickler, So what do you know! when the Feds raided the farm the evidence was cleaned up. James Nichols stated in his speech at the Dearborn Centennial Library that the FIRST person he wanted to talk to was Strickler, which he did BEFORE talking to the FEDS. James was welcomed home as a HERO when he was released from Federal custody. All described in Nichols' book "Freedom's End"
The "support network" for the bomb extended to the very top of Sanilac County. Worth Township in Sanilac county, had a Supervisor, James Payne, who flew Confederate flags on his property for decades. He drove around with a Confederate license plate, and had a Black Lawn Jockey holding a Confederate flag standing right at his door. Sheriff Strickler and Judge Donald Teeple redularly passed that lawn jockey and saw the flags as they entered Payne's home to socialize. Payne bragged about "using" his Public Office to direct the State Police Weighmaster to harrass Minority truckers coming through Worth township, and how he did not want "dirty niggers" in His township. This got recorded and all came out in a township meeting. Eric Levine, owner/editor of "The Sanilac County News" never once printed a negative word about the Racism and Confederate flags, rendering support via his silence. Levine never printed a word about Janice Putz, the Township Clerk, and Payne's successor in office, publicly defending Payne's racism in a township meeting. Levine also "ignored" a letter that was mailed to EVERY Worth township resident exposing Payne's racism . .... NOT ONE WORD. Eric Levine supports racism by failing to expose it even when it is major news in his reporting area. Nothing printed beyond the "obligatory" columns denouncing the bombers.
James Nichols gave a talk at the Dearborn Centennial Library promoting his book/conspiracy theory blaming the Government for the Oklahoma bomb. I walked up to him afterward and offered him documentation about judge Donald Teeple's campaign financing. Nichols did not want to hear anything negative about THAT "Government Operative" ...... very ODD to say the least. Why would he decline documentation on someone supposedly his enemy ..... unless ....... Teeple was a real "hero"when it came to looting elderly Citizen's property like ordering the "cleanup" of a fortune in antiques from Hattie Farley, but Teeple was gentle as a lamb with the Nichols boys.A BIASED FBI means ALL FBI ....Bill H -> William Chan... , 22 August 2019 at 10:25 AM
Binary choices are the only choices, its the way we're programed! BTW you left out Ruby Ridge.The FBI lost all credibility with me back when they trotted out their parade of "domestic terrorists" who they themselves were selling Play-Doh to, but who had only asked for combat boots so that they could practice close order drill in Miami, or a guy who turned out to be bootlegging cell phones in Michigan.Factotum , 23 August 2019 at 01:43 AM
Now they're at it again, patting themselves on the back and making press conferences about no fewer than five mass shooters apprehended this week, among them "saving dozens of lives" by arresting a hotel cook who told a coworker he was planning on coming back to the hotel in a few days to "shoot everyone he saw."
Sure, he was nuts, but even so if he was actually planning to do that would he announce it to someone two days in advance? In any case, the FBI didn't find him, a coworker turned him in when he was not on the FBI's radar.Linked article raises the question again: is CNN really a CIA run disinformation site? They have no viewers, credibility, revenues or business plan. Yet they persist in airports world wide. And now this odd CNN relationship to the very same Link Campus that included "visiting professor" Mifsud.
To wit: ......"tried to get him a cushy job working with CNN's Freedom Project at Link Campus in Rome."
The more we learn, the more questions arise. No wonder no one is ready to go public with the final Russia-gate analysis yet.
Mar 28, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com
Updated: July 7, 2019Efforts by high-ranking officials in the CIA , FBI , Department of Justice ( DOJ ), and State Department to portray President Donald Trump as having colluded with Russia were the culmination of years of bias and politicization under the Obama administration.
<img class="size-large wp-image-2855920" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/27/DOJ-FBI_infographic_3_Epoch-Times-1200x630.png" alt="" width="640" height="336" /> Click on image to enlarge.
The weaponization of the intelligence community and other government agencies created an environment that allowed for obstruction in the investigation into Hillary Clinton and the relentless pursuit of a manufactured collusion narrative against Trump.
A willing and complicit media spread unsubstantiated leaks as facts in an effort to promote the Russia-collusion narrative.
The Spygate scandal also raises a bigger question: Was the 2016 election a one-time aberration, or was it symptomatic of decades of institutional political corruption?
This article builds on dozens of congressional testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of Obama administration officials in the scandal that's become known as Spygate.<img class=" wp-image-2833768" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Michael-Horowitz-1200x1239.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="165" /> Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz . (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
To understand this abuse of power, it helps to go back to July 2011, when DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed.
From the very start, Horowitz found his duties throttled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who placed limitations on the inspector general's right to have unobstructed access to information. Holder used this tactic to delay Horowitz's investigation of the failed sting operation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
"We got access to information up to 2010 in all of these categories. No law changed in 2010. No policy changed. It was simply a decision by the General Counsel's Office in 2010 that they viewed, now, the law differently. And as a result, they weren't going to give us that information," Horowitz told members of Congress in February 2015.
On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general had sent a letter to Congress asking for unimpeded access to all records. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded on July 20, 2015, with a 58-page memorandum, titled " Memorandum for Sally Quillian Yates Deputy Attorney General ," written by Karl R. Thompson, the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).<img class=" wp-image-2833772" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/sally-yates-1200x1188.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="159" /> Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The July 20, 2015, opinion was widely criticized . But it accomplished what it was intended to do. The opinion limited IG Horowitz's oversight from extending to any information collected under Title III -- including intercepted communications and national security letters. (Notably, The New York Times disclosed that national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.)
In response, on Aug. 3, 2015, IG Horowitz sent a blistering letter to Congress. The letter was signed not only by Horowitz but by all other acting inspectors general as well:
"The OLC opinion's restrictive reading of the IG Act represents a potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our collective ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner. Our concern is that, as a result of the OLC opinion, agencies other than DOJ may likewise withhold crucial records from their Inspectors General, adversely impacting their work.
Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act . Horowitz would ultimately win his battle, but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the Inspector General Empowerment Act into law.
It is against this backdrop of minimal oversight that Spygate took place.
Ironically, the Clinton email server investigation, known as the "Mid-Year Exam," originated from a disclosure contained in a June 29, 2015, memo sent by the inspectors general for both the State Department and the Intelligence Community to Patrick F. Kennedy, then-undersecretary of state for management.
The IGs' memo included an assessment that Clinton's email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton's claims that there was no classified information present on her server.
On July 6, 2015, the IG for the Intelligence Community made a referral to the FBI, which resulted in the official opening of an investigation into the Clinton email server by FBI officials Randall Coleman and Charles Kable on July 10, 2015.<img class="size-large wp-image-2833204" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Andrew-McCabe-Lisa-Page-Peter-Strzok-1200x720.jpg" alt="peter strzok andrew mccabe and lisa page" width="640" height="384" /> (L-R) FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Getty Images/Epoch Times)
A Hand-Picked Team
At this time, Peter Strzok was an assistant special agent in charge at the FBI's Washington Field Office. The assistant director in charge at the Washington Field Office during this period was Andrew McCabe, a position he assumed on Sept. 14, 2014.
On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI's opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position in the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office, and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began.
Strzok would follow shortly. Less than a month after McCabe was transferred, FBI headquarters reached out to the Washington Field Office, saying it needed greater staffing and resources "based on what they were looking at, based on some of the investigative steps that were under consideration," Strzok told congressional investigators in a closed-door hearing on June 27, 2018.
Strzok was one of the agents selected, and in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters.
Starting in October 2015 and continuing into early 2016, FBI Director James Comey made a series of high-profile reassignments that resulted in the complete turnover of the upper-echelon of the FBI team working on the Clinton email investigation:
- Oct. 12, 2015: Louis Bladel was moved to the New York Field Office.
- Dec. 1, 2015: Randall Coleman, assistant director of Counterintelligence, was named as executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, and was replaced by Bill Priestap.
- Dec. 9, 2015: Charles "Sandy" Kable was moved to the Washington Field Office.
- Feb. 1, 2016: Mark Giuliano retired as FBI deputy director and was replaced by Andrew McCabe.
- Feb. 11, 2016: John Giacalone retired as executive assistant director and was replaced by Michael Steinbach.
- March 2, 2016: Gerald Roberts, Jr. was moved to the Washington Field Office.
Comey is the only known senior FBI leadership official who remained involved throughout the entire Clinton email investigation. McCabe had the second-longest tenure.
On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as FBI deputy director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position in the FBI, after having held the No. 3 position for just six months.
It was at this point that FBI lawyer Lisa Page was assigned to McCabe as his special counsel. This was not the first time that Page worked directly for McCabe. James Baker, the FBI's former general counsel, told congressional investigators that Page had worked for McCabe at various times during McCabe's career, going back as far as 2013.
By early 2016, the three participants in the infamous "insurance policy" meeting -- McCabe, Strzok, and Page -- were now in place at the FBI.
In January 2016, Bill Priestap was named as head of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, replacing Coleman and inheriting the Clinton email investigation in the process.
<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2857145" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/28/Spygate_Epoch-TImes.jpg" alt="" width="676" height="1280" />
According to Priestap, Coleman had "set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command" in the Clinton email investigation. Priestap, who said he didn't know why Coleman had "set it up," kept the chain of command in place when he assumed Coleman's position in January 2016.
This new structure resulted in some unusual reporting lines that went outside normal chains of command. Strzok, who would not normally fall under Priestap's oversight, was now reporting directly to him.
As Priestap described it, the team involved in the Clinton investigation comprised three different but intertwined elements: the primary team, the filter team, and the senior leadership team.
- The primary team was small, consisting only of Strzok, FBI analyst Jonathan Moffa, and, to varying degrees, filter team leader Rick Mains and FBI lawyer Sally Moyer. Mains reported to Strzok and Moffa, who in turn, along with Moyer, provided briefings to Priestap.
- Below Strzok and Moffa was the day-to-day investigative "filter" team of approximately 15 FBI agents and analysts that was overseen by Mains, a supervisory special agent.
- The senior leadership team was more fluid, consisting of higher-level FBI officials who provided briefings and updates to Comey and/or McCabe. In addition to Priestap, Strzok, and Moffa, frequent attendees included Moyer, Page, Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson, chief of staff Jim Rybicki, and General Counsel James Baker.
While the elements of the day-to-day investigative team differed for the Clinton email investigation and the Trump–Russia investigation, the primary team remained the same throughout both cases -- as did the lines of communication between the FBI and the DOJ. According to testimony by Page, John Carlin, who ran the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), was receiving briefings on both investigations directly from McCabe.Priestap Left in the Dark
Priestap, who testified that he was unaware of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, seems to have been kept in the dark regarding many of the actions taken by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant investigative control. Priestap was asked about this by congressional investigators during a June 5, 2018, testimony:
Rep. Meadows: " It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?"
Mr. Priestap: " Peter and Jon, yeah."<img class=" wp-image-2833249" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Priestap-1200x1548.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="205" /> Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap. (Jennifer Zeng/The Epoch Times)
Additionally, Page often circumvented the established chain of command, not only with McCabe, for whom she reportedly served as a conduit for Strzok, but also with Baker. Additionally, there were concerns that Page bypassed both the executive assistant director for the National Security Branch -- first Giacalone, then Steinbach -- and Priestap, the head of counterintelligence. Anderson, the No. 2 lawyer, admitted in her testimony to congressional investigators that she had been aware of these concerns, saying, "Neither of them personally complained to me, but I was aware of their concerns."
A report published by IG Horowitz in June 2018, which reviewed the FBI's investigation of the Clinton email case, included the notable statement that several witnesses had informed the IG that Page "circumvented the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap's or Steinbach's knowledge." Steinbach, who was the executive assistant director and Priestap's direct supervisor, left the FBI in early 2017.
According to Anderson, McCabe was aware of the ongoing concerns regarding Page's circumventions, but it appears that nothing was done to address them:
Mr. Baker: " Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?"
Ms. Anderson: " My understanding was that he was aware."DOJ Prevents 'Gross Negligence' Charges
By the spring of 2016, the Clinton email investigation was already winding down. This was due in large part to the fact that the DOJ, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch , had decided to set an unusually high threshold for the prosecution of Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she would not be charged.
In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent -- even though the gross negligence statute explicitly does not require this.
This meant that the FBI would have needed to find a smoking gun, such as an email or an admission made during FBI questioning, revealing that Clinton or her aides knowingly set up the private email server to send classified information.
According to Page, the DOJ played a far larger role in the Clinton investigation than previously had been known:
"Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department," Page told congressional investigators on July 13, 2018.<img class=" wp-image-2833254" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-545524880-1200x1441.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="193" /> Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Comey also had hinted at the influence exerted by the DOJ over the Clinton investigation, at a July 5, 2016, press conference , in which he recommended that Clinton not be charged, stating that "there are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent."
Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove the term "gross negligence" to describe Clinton's actions from his prepared statement by, among others, Page, Strzok, Anderson, and Moffa.CIA Director Instigates Trump Investigation
As the Clinton investigation wound down, interest from the intelligence community in the Trump campaign was ramping up. Sometime in 2015, it appears former CIA Director John Brennan established himself as the point man to push for an investigation into the Trump campaign. Using a combination of unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates -- primarily from the UK , but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia -- Brennan then fed this information to the FBI. Brennan stated this fact repeatedly during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony :
"I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI]."<img class=" wp-image-2833258" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-687314312-1200x1279.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="171" /> CIA Director John Brennan. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Brennan also admitted that it was his intelligence that helped establish the FBI investigation:
"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."
In late 2015, Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States. The GCHQ is the UK equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).<img class=" wp-image-2833230" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/George-Papadopoulos.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="192" /> Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
While GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted, after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos -- whose own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious -- occurred in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so.
<img class=" wp-image-2833234" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Alexander-Downer-1200x1391.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="186" /> Australian high commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer. (GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)
- Mifsud, who introduced Papadopoulos to a series of Russian contacts, appears to have more connections with Western intelligence than with Russian intelligence.
- Downer, then Australia's high commissioner to the UK, met with Papadopoulos in May 2016, in a meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries.
- Information allegedly relayed by Papadopoulos during the Downer meeting -- that the Russians had damaging information on Clinton -- appears nearly identical to claims later contained in the first memo from former MI6 spy and dossier author Christopher Steele that the FBI obtained in early July 2016.
Downer's conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through Australian government channels, although it may have come directly from Downer himself.
Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.
In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of the UK's GCHQ, traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Around the same time, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the NSA handled foreign and intelligence aspects.
During this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting , which refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen.
" We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA's foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there -- so they could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here."
As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation.
The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017.
This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Adm. Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning it only a moderate confidence level.Fusion GPS and the Steele Dossier
Meanwhile, another less official effort began. Information paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign targeting Trump made its way to the highest levels of the FBI and the State Department, with a sophisticated strategy relying on the personal connections of hired operatives.<img class=" wp-image-2833265" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-621958726-1200x1324.jpg" alt="" width="159" height="176" /> Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
At the center of the multi-pronged strategy to disseminate the information were Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and former British spy Steele.
In early March 2016, Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie -- the law firm used by the Clinton campaign and the DNC -- expressing interest in an "engagement," according to an Oct. 24, 2017, response letter by Perkins Coie. The firm hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to "perform a variety of research services during the 2016 election cycle."
Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, was retained by Fusion GPS during the period between June and November 2016. During this time, Steele produced 16 memos, with the last memo dated Oct. 20, 2016. There is one final memo that Steele wrote on Dec. 13 at the request of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).<img class=" wp-image-2833240" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-634408242-1200x1349.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="180" /> Sen. John McCain commissioned one of Steele's memos. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Steele provided Fusion GPS with something that Simpson's firm was lacking: access to individuals within the FBI and the State Department. These contacts could be traced back to at least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance in the FBI's investigation into FIFA over concerns that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.
Sometime in the latter half of 2014, Steele began to informally provide reports he had prepared for a private client to the State Department. One of the recipients of the reports was Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
After Steele's company was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016, he began to reach out to the FBI through Michael Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome who Steele had worked with on the FIFA case. Gaeta also headed up the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.
Gaeta was later identified as Steele's FBI handler, in a July 16, 2018, congressional testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees by Page.<img class=" wp-image-2833242" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/victoria-nuland-1200x1373.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed on at some point to both the FBI and then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
Exactly what happened with the reports that Gaeta brought back from London, and precisely who he gave them to within the FBI, remains unknown, although some media reports have indicated they might have been sent to the FBI's New York Field Office. During the period following Steele's initial contact with the FBI, there appears to have been no further FBI interaction or contact with Steele.Former CIA Contractor Worked for Fusion GPS
Notably, eight months before Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, Simpson had hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, to work for his firm as a researcher in October 2015. It was at this time that Fusion GPS was retained by the Washington Free Beacon to engage in research on the Trump campaign.
Prior to joining Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for an internal open-source division of the CIA, Open Source Works, from 2008 to at least June 2010; it appears likely she remained in that role into 2014.
Nellie told congressional investigators, in her Oct. 19, 2018, closed-door testimony, that part of her work for Fusion GPS was to research the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, including campaign associate Carter Page, early campaign supporter Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and campaign manager Paul Manafort, as well as Trump's family members, including some of his children.
Additionally, email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent her husband at the DOJ articles on Russia -- most carrying a similar negative slant. The emails continued through the duration of Nellie's employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line comment from Nellie.
In her testimony, Nellie described her work as online open-source efforts that utilized "Russian sources, media, social media, government, you know, business registers, legal databases, all kinds of things." Ohr said that she would "write occasional reports based on the open-source research that I described about Donald Trump's relationships with various people in Russia."
The work Nellie conducted for Fusion GPS matches the same skill set used when she worked for Open Source Works, which is a division within the CIA that uses open-source information to produce intelligence products.
When asked how she came to be hired by Fusion GPS and who had approached her, Nellie responded, "Nobody approached me," telling investigators that it was she who had initiated contact and approached Fusion GPS after reading an article on Simpson.
Nellie would continue to work for Fusion GPS until September 2016. By this time, Simpson and Steele already had started working on pushing the Steele dossier into the FBI.
Following the end of her employment with Fusion GPS, Nellie provided Bruce with a memory stick that contained all of the research she had compiled during her time at the firm. Bruce then gave the memory stick to the FBI, through his handler, Joe Pientka.Bruce Ohr Becomes a Conduit
Nearly a month after Gaeta brought back the reports that Steele provided in London, Simpson and Steele decided to pursue a new channel into the FBI through Bruce Ohr. Bruce had known Steele since at least 2007, when they met during an "official meeting" while Steele was still employed by the British government as an MI6 agent. Steele had already been in contact with Bruce via email in early 2016. Notably, most of these prior communications appeared to discuss Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his ongoing efforts to obtain a U.S. visa.<img class=" wp-image-2833270" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Bruce-ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="191" /> Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
On July 29, 2016, Steele wrote to Bruce, saying that he would "be in DC at short notice on business," and asked to meet with both Bruce and his wife. On July 30, 2016, the Ohrs met Steele for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel. Also present at the breakfast meeting was a fourth individual, described by Bruce as "an associate of Mr. Steele's, another gentleman, younger fellow. I didn't catch his name." Nellie testified that Steele's associate had a British accent.
The timing of the July 30 breakfast meeting is of particular note, as the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, "Crossfire Hurricane," was formally opened the following day, on July 31, 2016, by FBI agent Peter Strzok.<img class=" wp-image-2833272" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Nellie-Ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
According to a transcript of Bruce's testimony before Congress, Steele relayed information from his dossier at this meeting and claimed that "a former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, had stated to someone that they had Donald Trump over a barrel."
Steele also referenced Deripaska's business dealings with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and foreign policy adviser Carter Page's meetings in Moscow.
Lastly, Bruce noted that Steele told him he had been in contact with the FBI but now had additional reports. "Chris Steele had provided some reports to the FBI, I think two, but that Glenn Simpson had more," he said.
Immediately following the Ohrs' breakfast meeting with Steele, Bruce Ohr reached out to FBI Deputy Director McCabe and the two met in McCabe's office -- sometime between July 30 and the first days of August. Also present at this meeting was FBI lawyer Page, who had previously worked for Bruce Ohr at the DOJ, where he was her direct supervisor for five to six years.
Bruce Ohr would later testify that during the July/August meeting, he told McCabe that his wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion, noting, "I wanted the FBI to be aware of any possible bias." FBI General Counsel Baker, who reviewed a portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page -- which relied in part on the information from Steele -- told congressional investigators that he was never told of Ohr's concerns regarding possible bias and conflicts of interest.
On Aug. 15, 2016, a week or two following Bruce Ohr's meeting with McCabe, Strzok would send the now-infamous "insurance policy" text referencing McCabe to Lisa Page:
"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office – that there's no way he gets elected – but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."
On Aug. 22, Bruce Ohr had a meeting with Simpson. Ohr would later discuss that meeting during his testimony:
"I don't know exactly what Chris Steele was thinking, of course, but I knew that Chris Steele was working for Glenn Simpson, and that Glenn might have additional information that Chris either didn't have or was not authorized to prevent [present], give me, or whatever."
It was at this meeting that Simpson first mentioned Belarusan-American businessman Sergei Millian and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.Brennan's Briefings to the Gang of Eight <img class=" wp-image-2833280" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-103218413-1200x1585.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="211" /> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
During this same period in late August 2016, Brennan began briefing members of the Gang of Eight on the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, through a series of meetings in August and September 2016. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts by Democrats to block the release of transcripts from each meeting are ongoing. Comey, however, did not notify Congress of the FBI investigation until early March 2017, and it's entirely possible he was unaware of Brennan's private briefings during the summer of 2016.
During her testimony, FBI lawyer Lisa Page was questioned by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message that read, "What are you doing after the CH brief?" CH almost certainly referred to Crossfire Hurricane.
Lisa Page then was asked about an event that took place on the same day as the "CH brief" -- a briefing provided by Brennan to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:
"You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It's not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell, a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point."
According to Meadows, Brennan briefed Reid on the Steele dossier:
"We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then obviously we're going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware [of the dossier]?"
Lisa Page appeared genuinely surprised that Brennan would have been aware of the dossier's existence at this early point, telling Meadows: "The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did."
She elaborated further: "As of August of 2016, I don't know who Christopher Steele is. I don't know that he's an FBI source. I don't know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life."
This claim by Page seems incongruous when viewed against Bruce Ohr's testimony that he met with Page and McCabe in the first days of August following his July 30, 2016, breakfast with Steele:
"My initial meeting was with Mr. McCabe and with Lisa Page.
"I was telling them about what I was hearing from Chris Steele."
Meanwhile, Brennan's briefing prompted Reid to write not one but two letters to Comey. Both demanded that Comey commence an investigation, with the details to be made public.
Reid's first letter , which touched on Carter Page, was sent on Aug. 27, 2016. Reid's second letter , far angrier and declaring Comey to be in possession of material information, was sent on Oct. 30, 2016.
There had been reports that Comey had been considering closing the FBI investigation of Trump, something Brennan strongly opposed. Now, with Reid's letters sent, that avenue was effectively closed. The termination of the FBI's Trump–Russia investigation would be all but impossible in the face of Reid's public demands.
Perhaps it was in response to Reid's Aug. 27 letter that the FBI suddenly reached out to Steele in September 2016, asking him for all the information in his possession. The team working on Crossfire Hurricane received documents and a briefing from Steele in mid-September, reportedly at a meeting in Rome, where Gaeta also was present.
During Lisa Page's testimony, she appeared to corroborate this account, noting that the team received the "reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele's handler in September of 2016." She would later clarify the timing, noting "we received the reporting from Steele in mid-September." A text sent to her by FBI agent Peter Strzok on Oct. 12, 2016, may provide us with the actual date:
"We got the reporting on Sept 19. Looks like [redacted] got it early August."
Steele had produced eight reports from June 20, 2016, through the end of August 2016 (there also is one undated report included in the dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank named Alfa Bank, misspelled as "Alpha" in his memo. Steele's sudden burst of productivity was likely done in preparation for his Sept. 19 meeting in Rome with the FBI.
The impact of Brennan's potential knowledge of the dossier in August 2016 should not be underestimated. As Brennan testified to Congress, his briefing to the Gang of Eight was done in consultation with the Obama administration:
"Through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept Congress apprised of these issues as we identified them. Again, in consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership.
"Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case, involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of Congress."
https://www.youtube.com/embed/PseDla0l9xE?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque The Carter Page FISA Warrant <img class=" wp-image-2833286" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Carter-Page.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="207" /> Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
As the dossier was making its way into the FBI, the agency began its preparations to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who was surveilled under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
According to Baker's testimony, it appears that the FBI began to set its sights on Carter Page in the summer of 2016. When asked how he had first gained knowledge of the FBI's intention to pursue a FISA warrant on Carter Page, Baker testified that it came through his familiarity with the FBI's investigation:
Mr. Baker: " I learned of -- so I was aware when the FBI first started to focus on Carter Page, I was aware of that because it was part of the broader investigation that we were conducting. So I was aware that we were investigating him. And then at some point in time –"
Rep. Meadows: "But that was many years ago. That was in 2014. Or are you talking about 2016?"
Mr. Baker: " I am talking about 2016 in the summer."
Rep. Meadows: "Okay."
Mr. Baker: " Yeah. And so I was aware of the investigation, and then at some point in time, as part of the regular briefings on the case, the briefers mentioned that they were going to pursue a FISA."
It appears the FBI, and possibly the CIA, began to focus on Carter Page earlier than Baker was aware. Carter Page had been invited some months prior to a July 2016 symposium held at Cambridge regarding the upcoming election. The speaker list was notable:
- Madeleine Albright (former U.S. secretary of state)
- Vin Weber (Republican Party strategist and former congressman)
- Peter Ammon (German ambassador to the UK)
- Sir Richard Dearlove (former head of MI6 and Steele's former boss)
- Bridget Kendall (BBC diplomatic correspondent and the next master of Peterhouse College)
- Sir Malcolm Rifkind (former defense and foreign secretary)
Carter Page attended the event just four days after his July 2016 Moscow trip, and it was during this time in the UK that he first encountered Stefan Halper. Page's Moscow trip would later figure prominently in the Steele dossier.
Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant, stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired.
Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel for the FBI and head of the bureau's National Security and Cyber Law Branch, approved the application for a warrant to spy on Carter Page before it went to FBI Director James Comey.
According to Anderson, pre-approvals for the Carter Page FISA warrant were provided by both McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, before the FISA application was ever presented to Anderson for review.
"[M]y boss and my boss' boss had already reviewed and approved this application. And, in fact, the Deputy Attorney General, who had the authority to sign the application, to be the substantive approver on the FISA application itself, had approved the application. And that typically would not have been the case before I did that," said Anderson.
The unusual preliminary reviews and approvals from both McCabe and Yates appear to have had a substantial impact on the normal review process, leading other individuals like Anderson to believe that the warrant application was more vetted than it really was.
Anderson also testified that she had not read the Carter Page FISA application prior to signing off on it and passing it along to Comey for the final FBI signature. According to FBI lawyer Sally Moyer, the underlying Woods file (a document that provides facts supporting the allegations made in a FISA application) was only read by the originating agent and the supervisory special agent in the field. Moyer also noted that the Woods file relating to the Page FISA had not been reviewed or audited by anyone.
The Carter Page FISA application was largely reliant on the Steele dossier, which was unverified at the time of its submission to the FISA court and remains unverified by the FBI to this day. Circular reporting, provided by Steele himself, was used as corroboration of the dossier. Additionally, Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, whose conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer was used to open the FBI's July 31, 2016, counterintelligence investigation, is referenced in the FISA, yet there "is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos," according to a House Intelligence Committee memo.
Moyer testified that without the Steele dossier, the Carter Page application would have had a "50/50" chance of achieving the probable cause standard before the FISA court. Notably, the Steele dossier is generally considered to have been largely discredited.A Perkins Coie Partner and Alfa Bank Allegations
<img class=" wp-image-2679668" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/Michael-Sussmann-Perkins-Coie.jpg" alt="Michael Sussmann Lawyer Perkins Coie" width="160" height="194" /> Michael Sussmann, partner at Perkins Coie. (Courtesy Perkins Coie)
On Sept. 19, shortly after Steele completed his latest three memos, FBI General Counsel James Baker met with Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann, the lawyer the DNC turned to on April 28, 2016, after discovering the alleged hacking of their servers.
Sussman, who sought out the meeting, presented Baker with documents that Baker described as "a stack of material I don't know maybe a quarter inch half inch thick something like that clipped together, and then I believe there was some type of electronic media, as well, a disk or something."
The information that Sussmann gave to Baker was related to what Baker described as "a surreptitious channel of communications" between the Trump Organization and "a Russian organization associated with the Russian Government."
Baker was describing alleged communications between Alfa Bank and a server in the Trump Tower. The allegations, which were investigated by the FBI and proven to be false, were widely covered in the media.
Just four days earlier, on Sept. 14, Steele mentioned Alfa Bank (misspelled as Alpha bank) in one of his memos.
According to Baker's testimony, there appears to have been at least three meetings with Sussmann -- the first in person and at least two subsequent meetings by phone. In either the second or third conversation, Baker came to understand The New York Times was also in possession of Sussmann's information. As would become clear later, other members of the media also had this same information.
As Baker was meeting with Sussmann, Steele was back in Washington for a series of meetings that included his DOJ contact, Bruce Ohr.
On Sept. 23, 2016, Bruce Ohr again met with Steele for breakfast, telling lawmakers during testimony, "Steele was in Washington, D.C., again, and he reached out to me, and, again, we met for breakfast, and he provided some additional information." Ohr said this meeting concerned similar topics that were discussed at the July 30, 2016, meeting but did not provide further details.
Bruce Ohr would also meet either that same month or in early October with FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and DOJ career officials from the criminal division, Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman (Ohr testified that he was unsure whether Weismann was at this or a later meeting). Both Weissman and Ahmad would later become part of the team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller.Steele's Meetings With the Media
On the same day that Bruce Ohr met with Christopher Steele for breakfast, on Sept. 23, 2016, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff published an article about Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. The article, headlined " U.S. Intel Officials Probe Ties Between Trump Adviser and Kremlin ," was based on an interview with Steele. Isikoff's article would later be used by the FBI in the FISA spy warrant application on Carter Page as corroborating information.
Following the publication of the Isikoff article, the Hillary for America campaign released a statement on the same day that touted Isikoff's "bombshell report," with the full article attached.
A second lengthy article was published on Sept. 23, by Politico: " Who Is Carter Page? The Mystery of Trump's Man in Moscow ," by Julia Ioffe. This article was particularly interesting as it appeared to highlight media efforts by Fusion GPS:
"As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate 'corporate investigators' digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed Democratic donors; the other won't say who turned him on to Page's scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently Putin's chief of staff -- both of whom are on the sanctions list -- when Page was in Moscow in July for that speech."
Ioffe noted that "seemingly everyone I talked to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators who drew a dark and complex web of Page's connections."
Her article also mentioned rumors regarding Alfa Bank:
"In the interest of due diligence, I also tried to run down the rumors being handed me by the corporate investigators: that Russia's Alfa Bank paid for the trip as a favor to the Kremlin; that Page met with Sechin and Ivanov in Moscow; that he is now being investigated by the FBI for those meetings because Sechin and Ivanov were both sanctioned for Russia's invasion of Ukraine."
It was probably during this same trip to Washington that Steele met with Jonathan Winer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya, whom Steele had known since at least 2010.
Winer had received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele then shared this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele's own dossier.
Steele also met with U.S. media during his visit to Washington, doing so "at Fusion's instruction." According to UK Court documents , Steele testified that he "briefed" The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were "conducted verbally in person."Alfa Bank Media Leaks
<img class=" wp-image-2679669" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/james-baker.jpg" alt="James Baker FBi Special Counsel" width="160" height="203" /> Former FBI General Counsel James Baker.
As Steele's media meetings were going on, FBI General Counsel James Baker learned that Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann was also speaking with reporters from The New York Times regarding the Alfa Bank information that Sussmann had provided to the FBI. After some internal discussion, the FBI approached both Sussmann and The New York Times, asking that any story be held until the FBI had time to complete an investigation into the documents provided by Sussmann. It appears that an agreement was reached, and the FBI began to look into the claims regarding Alfa Bank and the server at Trump Tower.
But Sussman wasn't the only one that Baker, currently the subject of an ongoing criminal leak investigation, was speaking with. According to congressional investigators, beginning sometime in September 2016 -- before the presidential election -- Baker began having conversations with his old friend and journalist, David Corn of Mother Jones.
According to Baker, these conversations were in relation to ongoing FBI matters:
Rep. Jordan: " Did you talk to Mr. Corn prior to the election about anything, anything related to FBI matters? Not -- so we're not going to ask about the Steele dossier. Anything about FBI business, FBI matters?"
Mr. Baker: " Yes."
Rep. Jordan: " Yes. And do you know -- can you give me some dates or the number of times that you talked to Mr. Corn about FBI matters leading up to the 2016 Presidential election?"
Mr. Baker: " I don't remember, Congressman."
By Oct. 31, 2016, the FBI had apparently wrapped up their investigation into the Alfa Bank allegations, finding no evidence of anything untoward in the process. It was on this day that three separate articles on Alfa Bank would be published.
The first, " Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia " by The New York Times, appeared to be an updated version of the article they had intended to publish before the FBI asked them to delay their reporting. It stated the following:
"In classified sessions in August and September, intelligence officials also briefed congressional leaders on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump. They focused particular attention on what cyberexperts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia's biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin."
The reference to "classified sessions in August and September" is likely in relation to the series of Gang of Eight briefings that former CIA Director John Brennan engaged in at that time -- including his briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The article continued:
"F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 'look-up' messages -- a first step for one system's computers to talk to another -- to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts."
The second article, "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?" by Slate Magazine, was solely focused on the allegations regarding a server in the Trump Tower that had allegedly been communicating with a server