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Westlake Legal Group > Mueller Investigation

Lindsey Graham To Advise AG Barr On Planned Public Rollout Of SpyGate Documents

Westlake Legal Group AP_18271551574033-1-620x435 Lindsey Graham To Advise AG Barr On Planned Public Rollout Of SpyGate Documents william barr Special Counsel President Trump Mueller Investigation Lindsey Graham joseph mifsud george papadopoulos Front Page Stories FISA FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats Carter Page Campaigns Allow Media Exception

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pauses as he speaks to media about the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

 

In a Tuesday night appearance on “Hannity,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he will be meeting with Attorney General William Barr this week to advise him on the long-awaited rollout of Russia investigation and FISA documents to the American people.

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Hannity, “I’m going to meet the attorney general this week to talk to him about how best to tell the story. I don’t want people to conjecture as to what happened. I want you to read it.”

Graham predicted, “You’ll only find it on Fox. You may find it a little bit in the paper…It will get ten percent of what the Mueller report got.”

He continued, “Here’s the question. It’s not what did Obama know and when did he know it? Who told him? And what did he do when he was told? I want to know who briefed the president about their counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign. When you find that person, you’re going to unravel the riddle here.”

He wants the American people to see the 302s (FBI interview reports) and the FBI’s unredacted FISA Court application for the warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

Graham wants the public to read the transcripts of the meetings which occurred between FBI informant Joseph Mifsud and Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos. The senator said, “I want you to hear in real time that the guy said ‘I’m not working with the Russians. If I were, it would be a crime of treason.’” The FBI conveniently left this exculpatory evidence out of their FISA application.

“I bet you Donald Trump did not spend ten minutes with both of them,” he added.

I’m sure he is right about that.

Finally, Graham asked a rhetorical question which I think we all know the answer to. “Did they open up a counterintelligence investigation not to protect the country — but to get Trump?”

It sure looks that way.

The DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report is expected to be released after Labor Day. Once it’s out, he will begin to call witnesses to testify before his Committee, “so you can hear from them what happened.”

I’ll look forward to it.

Watch the video.

The post Lindsey Graham To Advise AG Barr On Planned Public Rollout Of SpyGate Documents appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_18271551574033-1-300x211 Lindsey Graham To Advise AG Barr On Planned Public Rollout Of SpyGate Documents william barr Special Counsel President Trump Mueller Investigation Lindsey Graham joseph mifsud george papadopoulos Front Page Stories FISA FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats Carter Page Campaigns Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Solomon: ‘Long Wait For Transparency’ Over Russian Collusion Docs May Soon End; Could ‘Rock Washington’ This Fall

Westlake Legal Group 99CB8FEA-3EC4-4E75-A6D4-53E011083E7B-620x620 Solomon: ‘Long Wait For Transparency’ Over Russian Collusion Docs May Soon End; Could ‘Rock Washington’ This Fall Steele dossier spying Special Counsel President Trump pete hoekstra Mueller Investigation John Solomon john durham Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption elections donald trump democrats Dan Coats Allow Media Exception 2020

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

 

Last September, President Trump announced he would order the declassification and release of all relevant documents about the role of U.S. intelligence agencies in the Russian collusion probe. Additionally, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to send 53 interview transcripts from their own investigation to the director of national intelligence (DNI) for review and declassification. Neither release has happened.

Investigative reporter John Solomon, who has broken most of the major news on this story, is reporting that “the long wait for transparency may soon end.” He wrote that the expected release of many of these documents this fall “could rock Washington.”

One reason for the lack of action by the intelligence community was the leadership of DNI Dan Coats, whose interests often appeared to be at odds with those of President Trump. Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, resigned from his post on August 15th. Coats’ deputy, Sue Gordon, known to be on the same page as he was, left the agency as well.

Two names said to be currently under consideration to replace Coats are Pete Hoekstra and Fred Fleitz. Hoekstra, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, currently serves as the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. Fleitz is a national security expert. I think Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) should be included on that shortlist, however, he may be considered too partisan.

Solomon believes “the president has an opportunity to speed up and organize the release of declassified information by simply creating an Office of Transparency and Accountability inside his own White House, run by a staffer empowered at the level of a formal assistant to the president. That would prevent intelligence agencies from continuing their game of public keep-away.”

As mentioned earlier, Solomon has followed this story closely. Over the last several months, he has interviewed four dozen U.S. officials and has identified the documents which he considers that,

When declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.

Here is Solomon’s list of the documents that have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.  Christopher Steele’s confidential human source reports at the FBI (known as 1023 reports).

These documents show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.  The 53 House Intel interviews.

House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I’m told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.  The Stefan Halper documents.

It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources. We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump’s transition [team] and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government’s Russia probe.

4.  The October 2016 FBI email chain.

This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele’s dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren’t shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.  Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements.

Another of Nunes’ five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.  The ‘Gang of Eight’ briefing materials.

These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren’t initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.  The Steele spreadsheet.

I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele’s own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI’s final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele’s information as only “minimally corroborated” and the bureau’s confidence in him as “medium.”

8.  The Steele interview.

It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ’s inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump, had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn’t disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.  The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application.

This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I’m told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump’s orbit.

10.  Records of allies’ assistance.

Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence. My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr’s recent comments that “the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it’s a serious red line that’s been crossed.”

The fall may be setting up to be a perfect storm for Democrats. In addition to the anticipated release of these documents, we can expect the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ report on the FBI’s interactions with the FISA Court. Also, U.S. attorney John Durham’s team has been working hard on determining the origins of the Russian collusion investigation.

Durham was tapped by Attorney General William Barr in May to lead this probe. The few leaks we’ve heard about over the summer, such as the cooperation of alleged FBI spy Joseph Mifsud, have given us reason for optimism. We also know that prior to Durham’s appointment, he was working on cases related to this investigation.

We’ve had such a long wait already. Let’s hope John Solomon is right.

The post Solomon: ‘Long Wait For Transparency’ Over Russian Collusion Docs May Soon End; Could ‘Rock Washington’ This Fall appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 99CB8FEA-3EC4-4E75-A6D4-53E011083E7B-300x300 Solomon: ‘Long Wait For Transparency’ Over Russian Collusion Docs May Soon End; Could ‘Rock Washington’ This Fall Steele dossier spying Special Counsel President Trump pete hoekstra Mueller Investigation John Solomon john durham Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption elections donald trump democrats Dan Coats Allow Media Exception 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Why Does It Matter So Much That Ohr Maintained Contact With Steele After He Was Fired?

Westlake Legal Group Bruce-Ohr Why Does It Matter So Much That Ohr Maintained Contact With Steele After He Was Fired? Special Counsel Rudy Giuliani nellie ohr Mueller Investigation Lindsey Graham Front Page Stories FISA Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption Dan Bongino Christopher Steele Bruce Ohr Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020

 

Bruce Ohr’s FBI 302 reports show us that the State Department, the FBI, Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Bruce and Nellie Ohr were “all involved in a triangulated relationship to get Trump with dirty intelligence.” That is the assessment of investigative reporter John Solomon who has followed this story from the very beginning.

All of these entities played a role in the deception and worked together, both before and after the 2016 election to undermine Donald Trump. None of them worried if they had to bend, or even break, the rules to do their part. I posted about the newly released documents here.

Dan Bongino published a book entitled “Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump” in October 2018 in which he laid out the entire story. As information about this conspiracy comes out, he has been proven correct over and over again.

He appeared on “Fox & Friends” this morning to discuss Ohr’s 302s. Interestingly, much of the communication between Ohr and Steele occurred after Steele had been fired by the FBI? Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Bongino why does it matter so much that the two remained in contact after the firing?

In order to gain a better understanding, Bongino said, “you have to look at this as an information laundering system from the start.”

There was an operation to target the Trump team with information that was factually inaccurate, that he was colluding with the Russians. So, if I was going to target Brian Kilmeade for a robbery he didn’t do and fabricate a story, you have to ask yourself, how would I give that story credibility and teeth?

I would do it by having multiple people talk about the robbery you committed even though you didn’t do it. This is what happened here. You have Christopher Steele as the front…Why was Steele used as a front for the false dossier? Because Steele had been a credible source in the past…in other words, they could present Steele in front of a judge as a legitimate source for false information which made the Brian Kilmeade story sound legit, even though it was made up.

It’s simple, but at it’s most basic level, that’s precisely what happened.

Next, Bongino said something surprising:

Steele may not even have written the dossier. Now we know [from the 302s] that Nellie Ohr may have written part of it. We know that Nellie Ohr wrote a dossier – on Manafort. Which begs the question, if Steele’s name is on the dossier because he’d worked with the FBI in the past and was found credible, did he even write it? If he didn’t, is the lie that much worse that you slapped his name on political information to make it seem legitimate?

Kilmeade points out that Ohr and Steele were communicating through “WhatsApp” (an application which encrypts messages). He brings up a story from last month about Steele had wanted to talk to the FBI. It was reported he was afraid they were planning to throw him under the bus. He asked Bongino to comment.

Bongino brought up his “movie script” theory. Christopher Steele’s name was used on this. And this is what I think he means by being thrown under the bus. On this dossier, information he did not create, Christopher Steele acknowledged on sworn depositions he hadn’t been to Russia during this time period.

What I mean by the “movie script” theory, if you go back to 2007, not 2017, but 2007, there is a Wall Street Journal article written by Glenn Simpson. I encourage you to read that article today and compare it to the dossier. It IS the dossier. It’s the same thing.

(Note: The article is “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington.” It was written by Simpson and his wife, Mary Jacoby, on April 17, 2007.)

They took a movie script from 12 years ago, slapped Christopher Steele’s name on it, changed a few of the names to Donald Trump. The cast of characters, Paul Manafort, Dimytro Firtash, they are all in that article Glenn Simpson wrote, it’s devastating.

Brian Kilmeade didn’t rob a bank. Donald Trump didn’t collude with Russia. The only source is Steele.

That’s interesting Dan, but what does that have to do with Ohr and Steele maintaining contact after Steele was fired?

We knew previously that Steele had leaked to the media as well and that he was the source for Yahoo!News’ Michael Isikoff’s article, published on September 23, 2016, which broke the news of the dossier. (By the way, the FBI used this article to corroborate the dossier in their FISA application. This is called circular reporting.)

At any rate, Steele lied to the FBI about leaking and once the FBI had submitted their application to the FISA Court which was based on the information contained in the dossier, he was fired. Steele’s FBI file indicates he is “not suitable for use.”

Yet, Bruce Ohr is encouraged by the FBI to remain in touch with Steele. Why?

Because there, in footnote 5 at the bottom of page fifteen of the FISA application, signed off on by James Comey, on October 21, 2016, it says Steele’s “reporting has been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings” and the FBI has determined him to be “reliable” and was “unaware of any derogatory information pertaining” to their informant.

And Steele knows where all the bones are buried.

Have we reached the point where they all start turning on each other? Christopher Steele was questioned for hours by Durham’s team.

There is so much more information that is known by insiders, lawmakers and other government officials that has not yet been made public. Before closing, I wanted to mention what I heard from two insiders on Thursday night.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani called into the Hannity Show. Giuliani ended his remarks by telling Hannity that no one will believe what’s coming.

Lindsey Graham, whose committee is privy to a great deal of classified information said, “This is the tip of the iceberg. I know personally there’s a lot more out there.”

I take both of those statements to mean that Attorney General William Barr, prosecutor John Durham and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz are on it.

Watch the clip which starts at 11:00.

The post Why Does It Matter So Much That Ohr Maintained Contact With Steele After He Was Fired? appeared first on RedState.

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Newly Released FBI 302s Show Abuse Of Power By Top Obama Administration Officials

Westlake Legal Group Bruce-Ohr Newly Released FBI 302s Show Abuse Of Power By Top Obama Administration Officials Special Counsel President Trump nellie ohr Mueller Investigation Glen Simpson Front Page Stories Former FBI Director James Comey FISA Court FISA Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats corruption in the DOJ and the FBI collusion Christopher Steele Carter Page Bruce Ohr Allow Media Exception 2020

After numerous delays, Judicial Watch (JW) received partially redacted copies of DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s FBI 302 reports (interview summaries) on Thursday evening. Ohr, who was serving as the associate deputy attorney general at the time, had acted as a backchannel between dossier author Christopher Steele and the FBI. When his involvement (his conflict of interest and role as conduit for Fusion GPS material) became known by top DOJ officials, Ohr was demoted in December 2017.

JW received 34 pages of documents, consisting of twelve 302s, which can be viewed on Scribd here. The first interview was conducted on November 22, 2016 and the final one occurred on May 15, 2017, days before Robert Mueller was appointed to the special counsel.

Background

The DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, through the Perkins Coie law firm, commissioned Glen Simpson’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to investigate candidate Donald Trump. Simpson hired former British spy Christopher Steele for the job. Steele compiled an incriminating, unverified and unverifiable dossier which alleged ties between Trump and the Russian government.

The FBI used the bogus dossier as the basis for its application to the FISA Court to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The FBI had been warned by Ohr in September 2016 that the dossier was both unverified and that Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”

The FBI had also received an email from State Department official Kathleen Kavalec, which included documentation, reiterating Ohr’s warnings.

Still the FBI presented the dossier to the FISA Court as “verified” on October 30, 2016.  They received the warrant and renewed it three more times.

In the meantime, James Comey, who signed off on the first application, presented a summary of the dossier to President-elect Trump in early January 2017 as “salacious” and “unverified,” and continued to present it to the FISA Court as “verified.”

New Information

The 302s provided new information and corroborated previously known information.

For example, the State Department played a larger role than had been thought. In the first interview Ohr told agents that “reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia were going to the Clinton Campaign, Jon Winer at the U.S. State Department and the FBI…Ohr knew that [Fusion GPS’s] Glen Simpson and others [were] talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”

Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked as a contractor for Fusion through September 2016. Nellie was hired to conduct research on members of Trump’s family. Bruce provided his wife’s research to the FBI.

In late September 2016, Ohr describes a person (likely Christopher Steele) as “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”

Highlights (via Judicial Watch)

“Ohr knew that [Fusion GPS’s] Glen Simpson and others talking to Victoria Nuland at the U.S. State Department.”

Glenn Simpson directed a person whose is redacted to speak to the press. It appears as if the press that person went to was the far left leaning Mother Jones.

On December 5, 2016, Ohr promised to “voluntarily” give his wife Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research to the FBI. He also provided the FBI with a report on Paul Manafort titled, “Manafort Chronology.”

On December 12, 2016 Simpson gave Ohr a thumb drive with Fusion GPS research on it. Ohr claims to not know what is on that drive. During the meeting Simpson, based evidently on a meeting with Glenn Simpson, identified Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer as having “many Russian clients.” Simpson also told Ohr that Cohen, “may have” attended a meeting in Prague.

Ohr describes Simpson directing someone to talk to the Mother Jones reporter “as it was Simpson’s Hail Mary attempt.”

On December 20, 2016, Ohr provided the FBI with his wife’s Nellie Ohr’s Fusion GPS research, “which contained the totality” of her work “but the Fusion GPS header was stripped.”

On January 23, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele told him that Steele “spoke with a staff member of Senator John McCain’s office sometime prior to October 2016.”

The FBI interviews show that Ohr texted and talked to Christopher Steele using the WhatsApp application.

On February 2, 2014, the FBI tells Ohr to see if Steele would be “comfortable getting the name of an FBI agent” as a contact. Ohr tells the agents that State Department official Katheen Kavalec spoke with “Steele several times prior to the U.S. Presidential election and believed Steele’s reporting to have [been] generated mainly from [REDACTED].

On Feb. 14, 2017, Ohr tells the FBI that Steele communicated with him via Facetime that Steele was “beginning to worry about his business.” Steele discussed brokering new business with the FBI and told Ohr, ‘You may see me re-emerge in a couple of weeks.”

On May 3, 2017, Steele called Ohr to tell him that he “had been worried about Director Comey’s upcoming testimony to Congress, especially his response to questions that would be raised by (Senator) Grassley.”

Although what he was specifically worried about is redacted, Steele was “happy with Director Comey’s response.”

Steele also stated that he was limited in “his ability to testify before Congress” because of disclosure laws in the UK being more narrow than the United States.

On May 12, 2017, Steele called Ohr to discuss a letter the Senate Intelligence Committee sent him. According to Ohr, “The letter requested answers to the following questions:

Had Steele provided information to the US Government?
What was the scope of Steele’s investigation?
Did Steele have any additional information to provide?”

In May, 2017, Ohr was asked by the FBI to ask “Steele if he would be willing to have a conversation with FBI agents in the UK.” Steele responded that he would, but he would need to check with a redacted name.

“This new Bruce Ohr FBI 302s show an unprecedented and irregular effort by the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to dig up dirt on President Trump using the conflicted Bruce Ohr, his wife, and the Clinton/DNC spies at Fusion GPS,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FISA courts weren’t informed of this corrupted process when they were asked to approve and reapprove extraordinary spy warrants targeting President Trump.”

I will be digging into these documents more thoroughly and will post on this story later today.

The post Newly Released FBI 302s Show Abuse Of Power By Top Obama Administration Officials appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Bruce-Ohr-300x169 Newly Released FBI 302s Show Abuse Of Power By Top Obama Administration Officials Special Counsel President Trump nellie ohr Mueller Investigation Glen Simpson Front Page Stories Former FBI Director James Comey FISA Court FISA Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats corruption in the DOJ and the FBI collusion Christopher Steele Carter Page Bruce Ohr Allow Media Exception 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Remember Mueller’s Peculiar 9-Minute Press Conference In May? There Was A Reason For It

Westlake Legal Group mueller-hearing-3-j-620x317 Remember Mueller’s Peculiar 9-Minute Press Conference In May? There Was A Reason For It Special Counsel Robert Mueller Rep. Tom McClintock Mueller Investigation Judge Dabney Friedrich Front Page Stories Featured Story Congress Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020

Former special counsel Robert Mueller listens to committee members give their opening remarks before he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

In a little noticed exchange during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last month, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) tried to determine why he had held his peculiar press conference on May 29th.

McClintock asked, “Did your May 29th press conference have anything to do with the fact that the previous day, the judge threatened to hold your prosecutors in contempt for misrepresenting evidence?”

Mueller replied, “No.” (Please scroll down to view a transcript of this exchange.)

U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, who presided over the special counsel’s case against two Russian internet “trolling” firms, wished to question prosecutors from the Mueller team about a concern she shared with the defendants’ attorneys. She called for a closed hearing to be held on May 28th.

Judge Friedrich and the defendants’ attorneys claimed that the Mueller report contained “misleading language” about the Russian government’s role in 2016 election interference. Recently released court documents suggest she insisted on changes and “privately threatened to hold his [Mueller’s] team in criminal contempt of court.”

The hastily arranged press conference held the next day appears to be the Mueller team’s attempt at “damage control.”

If this is proven to be true, then Mueller may have perjured himself when he told Rep. McClintock (under oath) that the hearing held on May 28 had nothing to do with his press conference the following day.

It almost goes without saying that the Mueller team wished to leave the impression that “the Kremlin had interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.”

Real Clear Investigation’s Paul Sperry reported:

Although no reporters were allowed inside, it is now known that Friedrich agreed with one defendant’s claims that Mueller had overstated the evidence when he implied in his report to Congress that the trolls were controlled by the Russian government and that the social media operations they conducted during the 2016 presidential campaign were directed by Moscow. News organizations had seized on the highly suggestive wording in his report to report they were part of a Kremlin-run operation.

Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Mueller to stop overstating evidence of Kremlin-directed interference.

Concerned that Mueller’s words could prejudice a jury and jeopardize the defendants’ right to a fair trial, Friedrich ordered the special prosecutor to stop making such claims and “to minimize the prejudice moving forward” — or face sanction.

Friedrich’s ruling stated, “The government shall refrain from making or authorizing any public statement that links the alleged conspiracy in the indictment to the Russian government. Willful failure to do so in the future will result in the initiation of contempt proceedings.”

The judge explained that Mueller’s report improperly referred to the defendants’ “social media operations” as one of “two principal interference operations in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections” carried out by the Russian government. She also pointed out that he referred to their Internet trolling as “active measures” — a term of art that typically includes operations conducted by Russian intelligence to influence international affairs. She said this was a departure from the government’s original February 2018 indictment, which “does not link the defendants to the Russian government” and “alleges only private conduct by private actors.”

Friedrich further directed the prosecution to make clear that its allegations are simply that and “remain unproven.” She also admonished Mueller’s team from expressing “an opinion on the defendant’s guilt or innocence.”

The next day, Mueller called the press conference in which he read a prepared statement and took no questions afterward. I wrote about it here, here and here.

Mueller’s most important words, and everyone seemed to miss their significance at the time, were that the “Russians he had indicted were “private” entities and “presumed innocent.””

In order to satisfy Judge Friedrich’s demands, the Mueller team needed to drop the part of their narrative that tied the defendants to the Russian government.

It appeared to have worked. Friedrich’s July 1st opinion was unsealed later that month. She wrote that Mueller had “demonstrated the government had complied with her order with his statements to the media.” The opinion read:

In delivering his remarks, the special counsel carefully distinguished between the efforts by ‘Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military’ and the efforts detailed ‘in a separate indictment’ by ‘a private [italics in original] Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens [italics in original] posed as Americans in order to interfere in the election.’

The media was unaware of this behind the scenes action until the court records were unsealed. Even then, it was not a major news item.

Which brings us back to Rep. McClintock’s exchange with Robert Mueller during his disastrous July 24th testimony before Congress.

As mentioned above, Mueller refused to acknowledge to McClintock that his press conference was related to his team’s dealings with Judge Friedrich.

Sperry contacted McClintock who said, “It certainly doesn’t pass the smell test…If he lied, he’s guilty of perjury and lying to Congress. I think this would be of interest to the U.S. attorney investigating misconduct in this matter and the inspector general’s office.”

But McClintock knows that House Judiciary chair, Jerry Nadler, would never refer Mueller to the DOJ for lying to Congress, and obviously wishes circumstances were different. After all, Mueller has charged Trump associates with similar offenses.

Transcript of McClintock questioning Mueller:

McClintock: Your report famously links Russian Internet troll farms with the Russian government. Yet at a hearing on May 28 in the Concord Management-IRA [Internet Research Agency] prosecution that you initiated, the judge excoriated you and [Attorney General William] Barr [who publicly recited Mueller’s claims from the report] for producing no evidence to support this claim. Why did you suggest Russia was responsible for the troll farms, when in court you’ve been unable to produce any evidence to support it?

Mueller: Well, I am not going to get into that any further than I — than I already have.

McClintock: But — but you — you have left the clear impression throughout the country, through your report, that it — it was the Russian government behind the troll farms. And yet, when you’re called upon to provide actual evidence in court, you fail to do so.

Mueller: Well, I would again dispute your characterization of what occurred in that — in that proceeding.

McClintock: In — in — in fact, the judge considering — considered holding prosecutors in criminal contempt. She backed off, only after your hastily called press conference the next day in which you retroactively made the distinction between the Russian government and the Russia troll farms. Did your press conference on May 29th have anything to do with the threat to hold your prosecutors in contempt the previous day for publicly misrepresenting the evidence?

Mueller: What was the question?

McClintock: The — the question is, did your May 29th press conference have anything to do with the fact that the previous day the judge threatened to hold your prosecutors in contempt for misrepresenting evidence?

Mueller: No.

The post Remember Mueller’s Peculiar 9-Minute Press Conference In May? There Was A Reason For It appeared first on RedState.

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Gowdy On The FBI In 2016: ‘Was Their Target Russia Or Was Their Target The Trump Campaign?’

Westlake Legal Group fbi-620x388 Gowdy On The FBI In 2016: ‘Was Their Target Russia Or Was Their Target The Trump Campaign?’ william barr Trey Gowdy Special Counsel Mueller Investigation joseph mifsud john durham james comey george papadopoulos Front Page Stories FISA Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) spoke to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday morning. He confirmed the identity of the informants to whom former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos had given “exculpatory evidence.” The information can be found on a transcript of a meeting between he and FBI informants Stefan Halper, then a professor at Cambridge University, and Azra Turk, whom Halper introduced as his assistant, in London in September 2016.

Halper had previously met with Carter Page in July 2016 and used his acquaintance with Page as an introduction to Papadopoulos on September 2, 2016. The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reports that Halper contacted Papadopoulos and offered him $3,000 plus expenses to come to London “under the guise of providing research about energy security issues.”

Papadopoulos told Ross that, when he met with Halper and Turk in London, they both asked him about the Trump campaign’s involvement in “Russia’s hacking of Democrats’ emails.” He said he had “rejected the question out of hand, saying that hacking emails would be illegal.”

In preparation for her Sunday morning interview with Gowdy, Bartiromo contacted Papadopoulos on Saturday evening to verify what he had said to Halper when asked if the Trump campaign would use Russian information against Hillary Clinton. According to her, Papadopoulos repeated what he has said all along. “Are you kidding that’s treasonous, people get hanged for stuff like this…that’s nuts, that’s treason.”

Gowdy explained to Bartiromo:

That what you just described is textbook exculpatory information. It tends to show that a person did not commit a crime, a crime by the way, Maria, he was never charged with. Papadopolous was charged with a process crime but never with colluding with Russia.

But it also speaks to what the FBI and the department were doing back in 2016: Was their target Russia or was their target the Trump campaign? We’re not going to know until we get the transcripts public.

The FBI and the DOJ said it was never intended to investigate the Trump campaign, just Russia. Okay, great. Show us the transcripts. Show us what questions you coached the informants or the cooperating witnesses to ask of the Trump campaign officials. If it’s not about the campaign then you win, you’re right. But if you’re veering over into the campaign, or if your questions are not solely about Russia, then you’ve been misleading us for two years.

Just release the transcripts, and we can tell for ourselves when it began and what it was about.

Although Gowdy stopped short of expressly saying it, it sure looks as if the FBI’s actual target was the Trump campaign rather than Russia.

Gowdy also informed Bartiromo this particular transcript is not the only one containing exculpatory evidence. He said, “The one you referenced is a single transcript, there are going to be others.”

The transcripts, which are currently in the hands of the DOJ, will clarify this issue. In other words, Attorney General William Barr and prosecutor John Durham already know the answer.

(Note: In the end, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. He served 12 days of a 14-day sentence.)

Papadopoulos and his wife, Simona Mangiante, also spoke to investigative reporter Sara Carter. They claim that “the FBI tried to coerce her to wear a wire to “entrap” her husband.”

Papadopoulos told Carter that his wife “was targeted by the FBI because she had information on another FBI informant, the academic Joseph Mifsud, who is connected to the Italian government and whose attorney has now come forward to reveal Mifsud was working with the FBI.” He said:

But what we believed that they really targeted her for is, we believe she knew all about Joseph Mifsud’s connections to the Italian government and his connections in Europe, which we just found out today that … the prime minister … just fired the heads of three intel agencies in Italy. And I think it has to do with the person, Joseph Mifsud, who the president and Devin Nunes and other people have been asking the government in Italy to examine a lot more because he’s actually at the core of this entire scam.

Two weeks ago, I reported that John Durham’s team has been in contact with Mifsud’s Swiss attorney, Stefan Roh. (“Has Durham Found A ‘Smoking Gun?’ The Mother Of All Omissions In Mueller’s Report May Await“) I wrote that “Durham and his team are hoping to either “interview Mifsud or at the very least review a recorded deposition the professor gave in summer 2018 about his role in the drama involving Donald Trump, Russia and the 2016 election.”

Last week, the well-connected investigative journalist, John Solomon, confirmed that the Durham team now has Mifsud’s recorded deposition in their possession. My colleague, Sarah Lee, posted about that here.

The importance of Mifsud to this investigation cannot be overstated. In fact, Solomon, who has followed this story closely, calls Papadopoulos’ meetings with this man the “flashpoint, the starting point, of this whole Russia collusion narrative.”

In an appearance on “Hannity” last week, Solomon said:

Well I can report absolutely that the Durham investigators have now obtained an audiotaped deposition of Joseph Mifsud where he describes his work, why he targeted Papadopoulos, who directed him to do that, what directions he was given, and why he set that entire process of introducing Papadopoulos to Russia in motion in March of 2016, which was really the flashpoint, the starting point of this whole Russian collusion narrative. I can also confirm that the Senate Judiciary Committee has also obtained the same deposition.

We’re going to eventually see the actual words that Papadopoulos used and whether the FBI properly disclosed evidence of innocence to the FISA court. My sources tell me there’s a big problem for the FBI there. That happened on James Comey’s watch.

Last week, we learned that the DOJ will not be charging Comey for leaking classified information (his memos). In response to a previous dig from Rep. Mark Meadows, Comey took to twitter to say, “I love transparency. I just wait for facts before I talk about them. I’m confident the results of all IG reports will show honest public servants worked hard to protect this country from a threat this president and his enablers won’t acknowledge. And @ me next time, bruh.”

Comey’s confidence may be a bit premature. The DOJ believes their case against him for FISA abuse is strong. Stay tuned.

The post Gowdy On The FBI In 2016: ‘Was Their Target Russia Or Was Their Target The Trump Campaign?’ appeared first on RedState.

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FBI Director Goes To Court To Protect Document Which Was Previously Released In Redacted Form; Hmmm

Westlake Legal Group AP_17285602507816-620x404 FBI Director Goes To Court To Protect Document Which Was Previously Released In Redacted Form; Hmmm Stephen Laycock Special Counsel President Trump Mueller Investigation Kathleen Kavalec Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump corruption in the DOJ and the FBI Christopher Wray Christopher Steele Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020

F.B.I director Christopher Wray is shown before speaking to reporters during a dedication ceremony for the new Atlanta Field Office building Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Atlanta, (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

 

Kathleen Kavalec has become a familiar name to those of us who follow the Russia collusion probe on a daily basis. Kavalec served as the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary. She met with dossier author Christopher Steele in October of 2016, ten days before the FBI submitted their first application to the FISA Court for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. Kavalec found a number of anomalies in Steele’s story and emailed the FBI two days later about her suspicions.

Kavalec’s email, and the documents attached to it, were publicly released several months ago in response to a FOIA request by conservative political advocacy group Citizens United, albeit in heavily redacted form. The group has filed a new FOIA request to obtain the documents in unredacted form and the FBI has gone to court to prevent that from happening.

The Hill’s John Solomon, a well-connected and highly regarded investigative reporter who follows this case closely, wrote that the FBI’s strenuous fight to keep these records private is “tantamount to giving up the keys to President Trump’s nuclear briefcase, aiding the enemy or assisting terrorists.” He added that, “normally, such Freedom of Information Act cases don’t merit public attention. This one does.”

Why is the FBI fighting so hard to prevent the release of these documents? The FBI maintains, as they always do, they are concerned that sources and methods will be revealed. In a sworn affidavit, an FBI official claimed, “We know that terrorist organizations and other hostile or foreign intelligence groups have the capacity and ability to gather information from myriad sources, analyze it and deduce means and methods from disparate details to defeat the U.S. government’s collection efforts.”

In court, this official argued that “The FBI can’t afford to jeopardize the fragile relationships that exist between the United States and certain foreign governments.” He also claimed that “FBI special agents have privacy interests from unnecessary, unofficial questioning as to the conduct of investigations and other FBI business.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray has gone to great lengths to guard documents pertaining to their counter-intelligence investigation. Clearly, this information doesn’t include sources and methods or it wouldn’t have gone out to Clinton, the DNC and the media during the 2016 election season.

Solomon summarizes what this lawsuit is all about:

It’s about protecting the bureau’s reputation from revelations its agents knew derogatory information about Steele and his work before they used his dossier to support a surveillance warrant targeting the Trump campaign and failed to disclose that information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

Citizens United’s president, David Bossie said, “Only through our litigation will the American people discover what the political operatives inside the Obama State Department and FBI were doing in 2016 with the fake Steele dossier before the FISA court.”

Solomon describes one of the documents the FBI is trying to protect:

It’s a five-page memo that Kavalec downloaded from Steele from an internet storage site after meeting with him on Oct. 11, 2016. She sent it to then-FBI section chief Steven Laycock, now an assistant director, two days later.

The document, according to my sources who have seen it, lays out a theory that Steele and some liberals spread late in the 2016 campaign that unusual computer pings between a Trump Tower server and Alfa Bank in Russia might be a secret communication channel by which Trump and Vladimir Putin were hijacking the election.

The theory has been written about in the media. Kavalec downloaded the file from Steele via a commercial internet download service and transmitted it to Laycock on non-classified email.

It’s noteworthy that when these documents were previously released, Laycock’s name was redacted.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has seen the documents and said that “the memo is based on open source media reporting and that the FBI’s claim that revealing it would harm sources and methods is completely unfounded.”

In former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony last week, he said the “Alfa Bank theory is not true.”

Moreover, Kavalec transmitted this information in a non-classified manner.

Why is Christopher Wray, who became the FBI Director after all of this occurred, trying to hide this information? Solomon’s sources tell him:

It’s because the State Department included notations on Steele’s five pages of research strongly calling into question his Alfa Bank theories before sending it to the FBI. In other words, they challenged the veracity and quality of Steele’s intelligence.

Under the FBI’s human source rules, a U.S. government’s negative assessment of an informer’s information would constitute “derogatory information” that would have to be disclosed to the FISC if Steele’s work was being used to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant.

Eight days after Kavalec sent Laycock her annotated version of Steele’s Alfa Bank research, the FBI submitted to the FISC an application that won the agency permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The bureau did not include State’s assessment. Instead, agents declared they possessed no derogatory information about Steele.

Wray’s attempts to stonewall requests for FBI records are becoming familiar. But the FBI has actually gone to court to fight this particular one.

Two questions.

What are they trying so hard to hide?

Is it time for Trump to think about a replacement for Christopher Wray?

The post FBI Director Goes To Court To Protect Document Which Was Previously Released In Redacted Form; Hmmm appeared first on RedState.

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NY Times Is Concerned John Ratcliffe Is Too Partisan For DNI Role; Brit Hume Immediately Pounces

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The left has been highly critical of President Trump’s decision to replace DNI Dan Coats with Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX). My colleague, Bonchie, posted about some of that outrage here.

Coats, although a Republican, is a creature of the Washington establishment. He has not hesitated to criticize President Trump and he has done his best to stonewall the release of sensitive documents. Some believe Coats may even have been the “anonymous senior White House official” who wrote an op-ed published by The New York Times last September in which he trashed the President.

At any rate, he will leave his position on August 15th.

On Monday, The New York Times sent out a rather audacious and tone-deaf tweet which said: “Former officials have expressed concern that Representative John Ratcliffe, President Trump’s pick to serve as director of national intelligence, will politicize what is supposed to be a nonpartisan job.”

Fox News’ Brit Hume was having none of it and he quickly shot back with a tweet of his own. In one brief sentence, he ended the debate. He wrote: ““Nonpartisan?” As in Clapper and Brennan?”

Both Clapper and Brennan are believed to be complicit in the deep state’s coup against the President. Brennan was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic Obama administration officials to push the Russian collusion narrative. He shared the story with anyone who would listen. He’s often referred as the  “cheerleader” for the Trump/Russia collusion investigation.

Signs point to Clapper’s involvement in the scheme as well. Specifically, he is believed to have leaked word to the media who had been sitting on the dossier story, that the President-elect had been briefed, which gave them the green light to go ahead and publish.

Brit Hume does have a way of getting right to the heart of the matter. As he did on Monday night.

Here are some of the responses to Brit’s insightful tweet:

“Don’t forget “ONLY VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS” Comey”

“This right here is Twitter gold…lol”

“Only democrat presidents are allowed to appoint partisans”

The post NY Times Is Concerned John Ratcliffe Is Too Partisan For DNI Role; Brit Hume Immediately Pounces appeared first on RedState.

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Democrats Will Watch 2020 Fall Apart After Poll Shows Voters Turning From Trump’s Impeachment

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Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

I hate to say that Democrats should have listened to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi instead of the “impeach the mother f***er” squad when it came to kicking Trump out of the White House, but…they should have listened to Pelosi. From the beginning she was trying to dismiss the idea of impeachment, presumably knowing it wouldn’t go anywhere, but Democrats pushed forward anyway.

This push for impeachment has now reduced the momentum of a Democratic party that was already having momentum problems to begin with. Mueller’s Russia investigation was such a flop that it actually made Trump look good and it only made the left and the media look like fools.

And with the left’s only chance to kick Trump out of the White House gone — because they sure as hell don’t have a chance in 2020 — they pushed the public too far on a slim chance. Now the public is over it.

According to a Rasmussen poll, U.S. voters aren’t just ditching the idea of impeachment, a majority still don’t believe he’ll lose 2020 either:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 11% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Trump will be impeached before serving his first full term in office. This finding has been trending down from a high of 29% when Rasmussen Reports first asked the question in late December 2017.

Little changed from early March are the 46% who say Trump is more likely to be reelected in 2020 and 33% who think his defeat by the Democratic presidential nominee is the more likely outcome next year.

Even if Democrats suddenly put all of their time and effort into supporting 2020 candidates, they’d have to begin generating momentum from a virtual stand-still. You’d essentially have to reintroduce the candidates who have released their platforms to almost no attention at all from the media.

Former VP Joe Biden rolled out his presidential platform and the media was so preoccupied with the Mueller investigations that no one even noticed. To be clear, Biden is Trump’s number one threat — and I’m using “threat” for lack of a better term — and the Democrats aren’t giving him the time of day.

Even if they do manage to get the hype machine for the 2020 candidates back up, it’s likely not going to be enough to really bring it to Trump. They know this, which is why they leaned so heavily on impeachment. If they had listened to Pelosi, they may not have stood a chance, but at least it would have been a better chance that may have opened them up for a miracle.

 

The post Democrats Will Watch 2020 Fall Apart After Poll Shows Voters Turning From Trump’s Impeachment appeared first on RedState.

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Smart Girl Podcast: They Did The Mash…The Muuuuuueller Mash

Westlake Legal Group mueller-hearing-3-j-620x317 Smart Girl Podcast: They Did The Mash…The Muuuuuueller Mash Trump smart girl politics Podcast Mueller Investigation mueller Kira Davis Hero Worship Front Page Stories Featured Story

Former special counsel Robert Mueller listens to committee members give their opening remarks before he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Kira flies solo this week to break down the Mueller hearings and the end results. What was going on with Mueller? What exactly is the strategy for Democrats with the hearings and moving forward? Kira also talks about the pitfalls of hero worship in general and specifically how the desperation to defeat Trump drives the media to embrace certain public figures who have not earned that trust, often ending in embarrassment.

Thanks so much to our sponsors this week at Ritual Vitamins. Go to Ritual.com/SMARTGIRL for 10% of your first order.
@RealKiraDavis @AprilDGregory @OfficialSGP
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Kira’s article of the week: Dear Bette Midler: Black People Don’t Need You To Tell Us How To Think bit.ly/2Y4PkXM

The post Smart Girl Podcast: They Did The Mash…The Muuuuuueller Mash appeared first on RedState.

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