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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Fusion GPS"

Fusion Natasha Gets Her Marching Orders On John Brennan, Ends Up Whiffing On Two Major Claims

Westlake Legal Group john-brennan-620x443 Fusion Natasha Gets Her Marching Orders On John Brennan, Ends Up Whiffing On Two Major Claims SCARED Russia Probe Politics Politico Nervous natasha bertrand john durham John Brennan Fusion Natasha Fusion GPS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story FBI doj democrats cia Allow Media Exception

Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Yesterday, we got a hilariously bad piece from Fusion GPS’ number one reporter. I say that with the admission that Ken Dilanian might still be fighting for the title but I think Bertrand has him beat lately. It’s like the Cuomo brothers. Andrew is bad, but come on, we all know Fredo is the dumber one.

This is the second clearly telegraphed Fusion GPS propaganda piece Bertrand has pushed out in as many weeks.

RedState’s Sarah Lee first covered it yesterday, focusing on the ridiculous notion that Brennan is just an innocent bystander, being targeted by an obsessed President. I mean, it’s not like Brennan was at the genesis of the Russia probe, lied about his knowledge on national TV, and spent the last three years ranting hysterically about Trump being a traitor. I can’t imagine why John Durham might be looking into this guy.

Politico even suggested that the focus on Brennan was somehow an offshoot of the Trump administration’s “blurring” of the lines between politics and law enforcement.

There’s so much projection in this article, i.e. accusing the DOJ and Trump of doing things the Democrats already did in the later stages of the Obama administration and throughout the Mueller probe. Bertrand either has no self-awareness or she just doesn’t care. Probably the latter.

But I want to focus on two key details she completely whiffed on because they kind of matter. At one point, Bertrand makes this claim.

Brennan allies and skeptics of the Durham investigation note that the CIA played no role in the probe involving Americans, and was narrowly focused on determining Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations and how the Kremlin was carrying out its election attack in 2016.

You know who that’s news to? John Brennan.

Brennan admitted in open testimony that he was looking into “US persons.” Further, we know Brennan was at the genesis of the entire Russia probe, including helping kickstart it within the Obama administration. He was doing all this while CIA Director, an agency that is expressly forbidden from targeting Americans. Further, there’s plenty of reason to suspect that the CIA had a hand in the now proven action of running assets against several Trump campaign associates.

You can read a deeper dive into Joseph Misfud’s probable CIA ties in this article. There’s a reason the media who’ve been towing the line for Brennan are now in panic mode.

Bertrand didn’t stop there though. She then made another unbelievably false claim in an attempt to try to paint Republicans as pushing conspiracy theories.

Asked for comment, White House deputy press Secretary Hogan Gidley said: “John Brennan lied before Congress when he got caught spying on American citizens and lied about having Russian collusion evidence that never existed. The only way I’ve ever heard anyone in the White House mention him is as a punchline.”

It’s not clear what Gidley was referring to—Brennan has not been accused of lying to Congress.

A quick google search would have shown Bertrand how laughable wrong that claim is, but apparently she doesn’t even bother to fact-check whatever Glenn Simpson is shoveling her on any given day. Brennan was not only accused of lying to Congress about spying on Senate members, he ended up admitting it.

This kind of nonsense is treated as “journalism” within the mainstream. At first I figured she just wanted “scoops” to elevate her career. Now, I wonder if Fusion GPS isn’t paying her directly. Anytime there’s any possible damaging information on the horizon for Brennan, the Russia Probe, etc. Bertrand is always there to spout the talking points of the other side. She does so uncritically, and as I’ve shown here, often falsely.

John Brennan is nervous. It’s obvious and no amount of Politico articles from friendly reporters is going to change the facts on the ground. We were told for years that if someone has nothing to hide, they should welcome an investigation. Well, here’s Brennan’s chance to be consistent.

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The post Fusion Natasha Gets Her Marching Orders On John Brennan, Ends Up Whiffing On Two Major Claims appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ap-john-brennan-300x198 Fusion Natasha Gets Her Marching Orders On John Brennan, Ends Up Whiffing On Two Major Claims SCARED Russia Probe Politics Politico Nervous natasha bertrand john durham John Brennan Fusion Natasha Fusion GPS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story FBI doj democrats cia Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Days Before the IG Report Release, Fusion GPS Scrambles to Defend Their Dumpster Fire Work

Westlake Legal Group nellie-ohr-620x288 Days Before the IG Report Release, Fusion GPS Scrambles to Defend Their Dumpster Fire Work Trump-Russia Steele dossier Steel Dossier Politics pee tape Michael Cohen media bias Jeffrey Toobin Glenn Simpson Fusion GPS Front Page Stories Front Page Founders Featured Story donald trump democrats collusion CNN Bruce Ohr book Allow Media Exception

Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Nellie Ohr (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

This was predictable in so far as it being a certainty that Fusion GPS and it’s dishonest, partisan founders were not going to take the IG report being released lying down.

With that in mind, they’ve now announced a coming book focused on the infamous Steele dossier. I mean, who better to gaslight the country on the Steele dossier than the people who created the garbage dumpster of a document.

This was no doubt being held back, waiting to be dropped as an announcement right before the IG report was set to come out. That way they can muddy the waters even further and allow the media to say “well, we will get the real story soon.”

Jeffrey Toobin is CNN’s conspiracy minded, crackpot “legal analyst,” so it’s not shocking he’s ready to put his stamp of approval on what is a book certain to be filled with yet more nonsense and misinformation.

There was a past point in our discourse when people like Glenn Simpson and his outfit would be laughed off the public stage based on how bad a failure their cardinal document was. Instead, they are still treated like serious people. Worse, they run a talking points factory which still gives “journalists” (via email lists) information daily on how to attack Trump and spin the Russia matter.

The Steele dossier’s relevancy is no longer in question. Every single salacious claim in that piece of trash has been discredited or left unproven. The only things “verified” were public data anyway. Yes, certain people traveled to Russia. Congrats on deducing what a 12 year old with an internet connection could have. What wasn’t true was basically anything that painted a picture of nefarious Russian collusion, peeing on mattresses, and Cohen being in Prague.

It would seem rather important that the most important aspects of their claims were complete crap. Unfortunately, we have a media complex which is obsessed with opposing Donald Trump, so they’ll absolutely fluff this book, not critically judge it, and accept Fusion GPS’s talking points and excuses wholesale.

The truth is already out there though. The Fusion GPS founders shouldn’t be writing books. They should be in jail.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post Days Before the IG Report Release, Fusion GPS Scrambles to Defend Their Dumpster Fire Work appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ap-glenn-simpson-fusion-gps-300x211 Days Before the IG Report Release, Fusion GPS Scrambles to Defend Their Dumpster Fire Work Trump-Russia Steele dossier Steel Dossier Politics pee tape Michael Cohen media bias Jeffrey Toobin Glenn Simpson Fusion GPS Front Page Stories Front Page Founders Featured Story donald trump democrats collusion CNN Bruce Ohr book Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Lindsey Graham Got Prank Called and Inadvertently Admitted Some Hard Truths About the Turkish-Kurdish Situation

Westlake Legal Group lindsey-graham-pointing-620x413 Lindsey Graham Got Prank Called and Inadvertently Admitted Some Hard Truths About the Turkish-Kurdish Situation YPG Turkey Syria Russians republicans Prank Call Politics pkk natasha bertrand Meghan McCain media bias Lindsey Graham Kurds Fusion GPS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump Complicated Allow Media Exception

Lindsey Graham by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

You wouldn’t think a Senator would fall for a prank phone call and completely undercut his public pronouncements in the process, but it’s 2019 and all that.

We are the midst of an extremely tense situation in Northern Syria, where the United States pulled about 50 advisors out of the area in the face of a Turkish incursion across the border. Nuance on the topic has become off limits for most on the right. My sympathies generally lie with the Kurds, even the YPG more so than Turkey, but this is not nearly as easy as just “supporting our allies,” as we’ll discuss in a moment.

First though, let’s lay out what happened with Graham. The same Russian pranksters who convinced Rep. Adam Schiff they had naked pictures of Donald Trump managed to pull one over on the South Carolina Senator. This comes courtesy of Fusion mouthpiece Natasha Bertrand.

First, let’s notice something. It’s likely that the only reason Bertrand has this “scoop,” which could only be passed along by Russian sources, is because Fusion GPS has been feeding her Russian misinformation for years. This was likely done to Graham to embarrass him and the Russians have plenty of reasons to want to do that. Even though that’s not the meat of this story, it is interesting to note just how much of a direct line the Russians have to Fusion GPS and their chosen reporters (Bertrand and Dilanian being the most prominent).

Now, back to the details. Graham has been raging on Twitter and publicly the past few days about Trump pulling out of Northern Syria. He’s proclaimed the evils of it and the coming re-rise of ISIS. He’s said we are leaving the Kurds to die. Yet, on this call, he took a decidedly different tone.

Namely, he admitted that it’s complicated. Very, very complicated.

But Graham also expressed sympathy for Turkey’s “Kurdish problem” and described the Kurds as a “threat.” Those private comments appear to contradict his public statements this week, in which he criticized Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria because it’s “wrong to abandon the Kurds, who have been strong allies against” the Islamic State.

“Your YPG Kurdish problem is a big problem,” Graham told the pranksters. He was referring to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, a group that began fighting ISIS as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces in 2015—with support from the U.S.—but is considered a terrorist group by Turkey because of its push to establish an autonomous state for the Kurds on the Turkish-Syrian border.

“I told President Trump that Obama made a huge mistake in relying on the YPG Kurds,” Graham continued. “Everything I worried about has come true, and now we have to make sure Turkey is protected from this threat in Syria. I’m sympathetic to the YPG problem, and so is the president, quite frankly.”

That’s a direct contradiction of Graham’s public condemnations, and one that admits some hard realities on the ground.

Let me say this first though. I’ve refrained from writing about the situation in Syria to this point for a very specific reason. There’s way, way too much emotionalism being bandied about right now to have an intelligent conversation with most people on the right. If you even begin to inject that the Kurds are not a monolithic group, that they actually include different factions, and that the regional conflicts that predate the Syrian civil war make this a very tenuous situation, you get accused of endorsing “genocide” and “slaughter.”

In reality, there is no evidence of those things happening. Turkey agreed to a safe zone last year encompassing parts of the Syrian border. At this point, that’s what they’ve begun to form by pushing across. Could they cross a red line and start wiping out the Kurdish groups in Northern Syria? I certainly wouldn’t put it past Erdogan. He’s a terrible person. But not taking all factors into account helps no one.

Take this from Meghan McCain for example.

While Rand Paul’s tweet is stupidly simplistic, McCain’s response is know-nothing gobbledygook.

What does McCain know about the YPG or PKK? Does she know they are designated terrorist entities that have been at war with Turkey for decades? Does she know they are allies in a separatist movement within Turkey and have carried out suicide attacks? Does she realize that engaging a NATO ally in order to protect them would set off a massive international crisis and possibly destroy the most important alliance in history? Does she care that we have 5,000 troops inside Turkey and over 60 nuclear warheads at risk? Does McCain think we should leave 50 troops as human shields in the face of a Turkish operation that was moving forward regardless? Turkey doesn’t even have to mean to kill Americans for Americans to die in that situation. It’d have been incredibly dangerous for those soldiers.

McCain hasn’t spent one second in her several rants on the issue actually articulating the complexities and pitfalls of the situation in order to actually form a salient argument. Instead she’s spent her timing spouting righteous platitudes that ignore the realities we are dealing with.

In Graham’s prank phone call, we actually see him admit the issues at hand. The YPG are a real problem and Turkey does have legitimate reasons to push back on them. The group’s goal is to form a Marxist state made up of Turkish and Syrian land. As you can imagine, that raises the temperature in the area among all involved. Further, it must be said that the Kurds in Iraq are not the same as those in Northern Syria. The former are our traditional allies, the latter are not. Iraqi Kurds see the YPG as extremists (and objectively, they are).

The United States, due to the failures of the past administration, has been put in an impossible situation. Graham appears to know this but hasn’t had the guts to say it publicly. He simply got caught with this prank call.

With Turkey saying they were coming across the border, there were no good options here. The fact that we are dealing with the YPG makes the matter extremely difficult navigate. We were placed in the middle of two historically warring groups. One is a NATO ally and is vitally strategic for our national security. The other did help us defeat ISIS in Northern Syria. This all paints a dangerous shade of gray and the President made the decision to not continue to play chicken with Turkey. Even if you think it’s the wrong move, the certainty with which some have been shouting crosses into the ridiculous.

With all that said, what Turkey doesn’t have is a legitimate reason to do is wipe out the Kurds. Setting up a border zone is one thing, specifically targeting civilians is another. If that happens, the President will be forced to act and he has said he will. If he doesn’t, he will bear the consequences of that, as he should. The best course of action here is to negotiate some kind of settlement. That will mean Turkish compliance but it will also mean a stop to the actions of the YPG within Turkey.

What doesn’t help anyone in this discussion is generalized hysteria without any admission of just how incredibly volatile and complicated this situation is.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

I’ve got a new twitter! Please help by following @bonchieredstate.

The post Lindsey Graham Got Prank Called and Inadvertently Admitted Some Hard Truths About the Turkish-Kurdish Situation appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group LindseyGraham-300x153 Lindsey Graham Got Prank Called and Inadvertently Admitted Some Hard Truths About the Turkish-Kurdish Situation YPG Turkey Syria Russians republicans Prank Call Politics pkk natasha bertrand Meghan McCain media bias Lindsey Graham Kurds Fusion GPS Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump Complicated Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Me and My Whistle-Blower

One sunny Wednesday in February, a gangly man in a sports jacket and a partly unbuttoned paisley shirt walked into the Los Angeles field office of the F.B.I. At the reception desk, he gave his name — Val Broeksmit — and began to pace anxiously in the lobby.

Mr. Broeksmit couldn’t believe he was voluntarily meeting with the F.B.I. An unemployed rock musician with a history of opioid abuse and credit card theft, not to mention a dalliance with North Korea-linked hackers, he was accustomed to shunning if not fearing law enforcement. But two investigators had flown from the bureau’s New York office specifically to speak with him, and Mr. Broeksmit had found their invitation too seductive to resist. Now the agents arrived in the lobby and escorted him upstairs.

They wanted to talk about Deutsche Bank — one of the world’s largest and most troubled financial institutions, and the bank of choice to the president of the United States. Mr. Broeksmit’s late father, Bill, had been a senior executive there, and his son possessed a cache of confidential bank documents that provided a tantalizing glimpse of its internal workings. Some of the documents were password-protected, and there was no telling what secrets they held or how explosive they could be.

Federal and state authorities were swarming around Deutsche Bank. Some of the scrutiny centered on the lender’s two-decade relationship with President Trump and his family. Other areas of focus grew out of Deutsche Bank’s long history of criminal misconduct: manipulating markets, evading taxes, bribing foreign officials, violating international sanctions, defrauding customers, laundering money for Russian billionaires.

In a windowless conference room, one of the agents pressed Mr. Broeksmit, 43, to hand over his files. “You’re holding documents that only people within the inner circle of Deutsche would ever see,” he said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157663062_41bacd08-1113-4095-ba88-47b844b59e00-articleLarge Me and My Whistle-Blower Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Sony Pictures Entertainment Sony Corporation Simpson, Glenn R Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Politics and Government North Korea News and News Media New York Times Money Laundering Justice Department Guardians of Peace Fusion GPS Federal Bureau of Investigation Deutsche Bank AG Cyberattacks and Hackers Boies, David Banking and Financial Institutions

The United States headquarters of Deutsche Bank in New York.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

“Clearly, things went on in Deutsche Bank which weren’t kosher,” added the second agent. “What we’re up against is, all those bad acts are being pushed down on the little people on the bottom.”

“The low-hanging fruit,” said the first agent.

“And the larger bank in its entirety is claiming ignorance and that it’s one bad player,” said his partner. “But we know what we’ve seen. It’s a culture of just — ”

“Fraud and dirt,” Mr. Broeksmit interjected. Already, he was warming to the idea of having a cameo in a high-stakes F.B.I. investigation. He spent the next three hours vaping, munching on raspberry-flavored fig bars and telling his story, entranced by the idea of helping the investigators go after executives high up the Deutsche Bank food chain. (Deutsche Bank has said it is cooperating with authorities in a number of investigations.)

When he finally emerged from the Los Angeles field office, Mr. Broeksmit got into a Lyft and called me. His adrenaline, I could tell, was still pumping; he was talking so fast he had to stop to catch his breath.

“I am more emotionally invested in this than anyone in the world,” he said. “I would love to be their special informer.”

Here’s the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden — each of them was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history.

For more than five years, Val Broeksmit has been dangling his Deutsche Bank files in front of journalists and government investigators, dreaming of becoming the next great American whistle-blower. He wants to expose what he sees as corporate wrongdoing, give some meaning to his father’s death — and maybe get famous along the way. Inside newsrooms and investigative bodies around the world, Mr. Broeksmit’s documents have become something of an open secret, and so are the psychological strings that come attached. I pulled them more than anyone, as part of my reporting on Deutsche Bank for The New York Times and for a book, “Dark Towers,” to be published next year. It has been the most intense source relationship of my career.

An endless procession of bank executives and friends of the Broeksmit family have warned me that Mr. Broeksmit is not to be trusted, and, well, they might have a point. His drug use has sent him reeling between manias and stupors. He has a maddening habit of leaping to outrageous conclusions and then bending facts to fit far-fetched theories. He fantasizes about seeing his story told by Hollywood, and I sometimes wonder whether he’s manipulating me to achieve that ambition. He can be impatient, erratic and abusive. A few days ago, irate that he was not named in a blurb for my book on Amazon, among other perceived slights, he sent me a string of texts claiming that he’d taken out a brokerage account in my name and traded on secret information I’d supposedly fed him. (This is not true.) A little later, he left me a voice mail message saying it was all a joke.

Why do I put up with this? Because his trove of corporate emails, financial materials, boardroom presentations and legal reports is credible — even if he is not. (In this article, every detail not directly attributed to Mr. Broeksmit has been corroborated by documents, recordings or an independent source.) Besides, there’s something uncanny about how Mr. Broeksmit’s fearlessness and addiction to drama have led him, again and again, to the center of the news. In addition to Deutsche Bank’s troubles, he has figured into North Korea’s hack of Sony Pictures, the collapse of the world’s oldest bank and the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Mr. Trump.

We might wish our whistle-blowers were stoic, unimpeachable do-gooders. In reality, to let you in on a journalistic secret, they’re often more like Val Broeksmit.

Val Broeksmit with his father at Wimbledon in 2013.CreditVal Broeksmit

On a drizzly Sunday in London in January 2014, Bill Broeksmit cinched his dog’s red leash around his neck, slung it over a door and lunged forward. He was 58.

The elder Broeksmit was widely known as the unofficial conscience of Deutsche Bank and a longtime confidant of the company’s chief executive, and his death shocked the financial world. I was a reporter in The Wall Street Journal’s London bureau, and there were rumors that Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide was connected to his work — that he regretted what he’d seen and done. My colleagues and I divvied up the unpleasant task of contacting his family, and I got Val. He was easy to track down: His band, Bikini Robot Army, had a website with his email address.

When I reached him, he was in New York for his father’s funeral, and at first he asked me to leave his family alone. “Everyone is very sad and grieving right now,” he wrote. But before long he was on the phone — angry, slurring his speech, insisting without evidence that he knew why his father had killed himself and that it had nothing to do with Deutsche Bank. Over the next several months, we kept in sporadic touch as Mr. Broeksmit bounced between rehab facilities in Florida and California, trying to beat an opioid addiction and teasing me with provocative messages. (He is open about his struggles with substance abuse.) He would say things like “I think I know what happened” and then never follow up; once, apropos of nothing, he sent a picture of a San Francisco building on fire.

Finally, on a Tuesday in July 2014, he emailed me a single line: “Are you still looking into deutsche?”

The evening after his father died, Mr. Broeksmit had found the passwords to his email accounts. Now, he told me that he had discovered hundreds of messages related to Deutsche Bank. Mr. Broeksmit asked if I could help him sift through and decipher them, and I suggested a list of search terms: things like “subpoena” and “DOJ,” for the Department of Justice.

He soon forwarded an item with a number of those keywords. “Don’t know what it means,” he said. I started skimming: It was a detailed letter to Deutsche Bank from a senior official at the New York arm of the Federal Reserve, who was furious with the bank for its slipshod accounting. Trying to contain my excitement, I asked if I could write about the document. I braced for a negotiation, but all Mr. Broeksmit said was, “That’s cool. Please don’t tell anyone where you’re getting this info.” (He has since released me from that promise.)

Four days later, I published an article describing the Fed’s concerns. The bank’s shares fell 3 percent. Mr. Broeksmit told me he felt empowered by having dented Deutsche’s market value by more than $1 billion.

What makes a person crave the attention of journalists? Consider where Val Broeksmit comes from.

He was born in Ukraine in 1976, and his parents, Alla and Alexander, emigrated to Chicago three years later. Their marriage collapsed; Val and his father landed in a homeless shelter; and in 1982, Cook County took custody of the boy, placing the frightened 6-year-old in a foster home.

Meanwhile, Alla met and married Bill Broeksmit, who was then an up-and-coming banker. They moved to New Jersey and eventually extracted Val, then 9, from the foster care system. Bill adopted him — an angry, impulsive child with a strong anti-authority streak. A caseworker who visited the family noted that he insisted on calling his parents by their first names.

Val’s friends told me that he acted out through his boarding school and college years, compensating for what he described as his parents’ icy detachment. He was the guy trying to keep the party going with a little coke at 3 a.m., cajoling girls to make out with each other, stealing expensive gear from his college’s music department. (Mr. Broeksmit acknowledges all of this.) He wanted to be the center of attention, to prove that he mattered. That’s part of the reason he became a rocker — “It’s less lonely with an audience,” he once told me — but Bikini Robot Army never hit it big. When his father died and Mr. Broeksmit came into possession of his documents, he finally had an opportunity to make the world pay attention.

After his initial leak to me in the summer of 2014, Mr. Broeksmit started seeking out other big stories. Late that year, a group of North Korea-linked hackers, calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, penetrated the computer systems of Sony Pictures. When the hack became public, Mr. Broeksmit followed a bread crumb trail of links until he eventually came across an email address for the hackers.

“I’m interesting in joining your GOP, but I’m afraid my computer skills are sophomoric at best,” Mr. Broeksmit emailed the Guardians of Peace. (Typo his.) “If I can help in any other facility please let me know.” He doubted the hackers would reply, but an email soon arrived with a primer on how to access Sony’s stolen materials. As he waited for the hundreds of gigabytes to download, he sent another email. “Hey, you guys ever thought about going after Deutsche Bank?” he wrote. “Tons of evidence on their servers of worldwide fraud.” The hackers didn’t respond.

Mr. Broeksmit, leaning into his new persona as an exposer of corporate secrets, took to Twitter to post embarrassing Sony files: deliberations over who might direct a remake of “Cleopatra”; Brad Pitt freaking out about the edit of “Fury.” He wasn’t the only one airing Sony’s laundry, but his prolific postings set him apart.

David Boies in New York in July. Mr. Boies was representing Sony when it demanded that Twitter shut down Val Broeksmit’s account.CreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

David Boies — Sony’s attorney and arguably the most famous lawyer in America — sent Twitter a letter demanding that it shut down Mr. Broeksmit’s account. Another letter, from a Sony executive, warned Mr. Broeksmit that Sony would “hold you responsible for any damage or loss” stemming from the materials he had published. A few days before Christmas, a colleague and I published an article about the huge corporation and its powerful lawyer threatening this random musician.

For the first time, Mr. Broeksmit was in the public spotlight. Soon he was on the Fox Business channel. “It seems like somebody’s trying to make you the fall guy, doesn’t it, Mr. Broeksmit?” an anchor asked. The lesson was clear: The media had ravenous appetites for documents that exposed the guts of giant corporations. It even seemed virtuous to share juicy material. And Mr. Broeksmit had plenty of that.

Spelunking through his Deutsche files, Mr. Broeksmit encountered detailed information about what was going on deep inside the bank. There were minutes of board meetings. Financial plans. Indecipherable spreadsheets. Password-protected presentations. And evidence of his father’s misery.

Here was the elder Broeksmit scolding his colleagues for not taking the Fed’s annual “stress tests” seriously. Here he was, in the months before his suicide, pushing executives to deal with the American division’s alarming staff shortages. Here he was talking to a criminal defense lawyer.

Mr. Broeksmit concluded that all this might help explain why his father had hanged himself. He told his therapist, an addiction specialist named Larry Meltzer, that he was on a quest to understand the suicide. Mr. Meltzer told me that he encouraged the inquiry. He also persuaded Alla Broeksmit to increase her son’s monthly stipend from $300 to $2,500.

Figuring that more information about his father’s death might be lodged in Alla’s email accounts, Mr. Broeksmit consulted some online tutorials and broke into her Gmail. Inside, he found an extraordinary demonstration of corporations’ power to control what the public knows.

In his mother’s inbox was a scan of the elder Broeksmit’s suicide note to Anshu Jain, at the time the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank. It was four sentences, handwritten in black ink on white printer paper.

Anshu,

You were so good to me and I have repaid you with carelessness. I betrayed your trust and hid my horrible nature from you. I can’t even begin to fathom the damage I have done.

I am eternally sorry and condemned.

Bill

Mr. Broeksmit could feel his father’s anguish. It left him in tears — and baffled. Why had his father been sorry? When had he ever been careless? How had he damaged the bank?

Mr. Broeksmit read on. He learned that his father had once looked into the conduct of some Deutsche Bank traders and concluded — mistakenly — that nothing was amiss. It turned out the traders were manipulating a benchmark known as Libor. The elder Broeksmit feared he could become a target of government investigators because he had failed to detect the fraud; spiraling, he consulted his physician and a psychologist.

Those doctors wrote to the coroner investigating Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide. One described the banker as having been “extremely anxious” over the Libor affair. The other added: “He was catastrophising, imagining worst case outcomes including prosecution, loss of his wealth and reputation.”

The coroner, Fiona Wilcox, scheduled a public hearing to discuss her findings. She intended to read aloud from the doctors’ letters. But on the morning of the inquest, at the courthouse, lawyers that Deutsche Bank had hired for the Broeksmit family took her aside and urged her not to do so in order to protect the family’s privacy.

Ms. Wilcox, who declined to comment, acquiesced. Nearly everything about Mr. Broeksmit’s specific anxieties was expunged. Where the psychologist had written that his patient imagined prosecution, the words were crossed out and replaced with “He imagined various issues.” The physician had originally described Mr. Broeksmit’s worry “about going to prison or going bankrupt even though he knew he was innocent. He kept on thinking back over all the thousands of emails he had sent over the years. He knew how lawyers can twist things round.” It was replaced with: “He told me he had been extremely anxious.” All of this — the originals, and the whitewashed version — had been emailed to Alla Broeksmit. Now they were in her son’s hands.

Val Broeksmit in Los Angeles, where he moved to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story.CreditOriana Koren for The New York Times

Mr. Broeksmit’s antics escalated. He fished his mother’s American Express details out of her email and bought laptops, a plane ticket to Paris, rooms in luxury hotels. He told friends he was investigating his father’s death, but I wondered if he just wanted to tell people (and himself) that he was on a noble mission. At one point, Mr. Broeksmit filled out a form on the Justice Department’s website: “I’m writing in hopes of speaking to someone at the DOJ in reference to the evidence I have showing major fraud at one of the world’s largest banks.” He got a note that his message had been passed to the F.B.I.’s New York field office, but no other acknowledgment.

Ms. Broeksmit eventually wised up to her son’s credit card theft, and by the end of 2016, he was running low on cash. (In a brief phone call last year, she told me that Mr. Broeksmit “is completely ostracized from the family.”) Word spread in journalism circles that the son of a dead Deutsche Bank executive had access to revelatory materials. In Rome on New Year’s Eve of 2016, Mr. Broeksmit shared the files with a reporter for the Financial Times, periodically excusing himself to snort 80-milligram hits of OxyContin, and the journalist later connected him with someone willing to pay for the documents. On the third anniversary of his father’s death — Jan. 26, 2017 — $1,000 arrived in his PayPal account.

The money was from Glenn R. Simpson, a former journalist who ran a research company called Fusion GPS. Weeks earlier, it had rocketed to notoriety as the source of the so-called Steele Dossier — a report by a former intelligence agent containing salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. Mr. Simpson was searching for more dirt and, Mr. Broeksmit told me, he agreed to pay $10,000 for the Deutsche materials. (Mr. Simpson declined to be interviewed.)

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to start searching for specific topics. “Any Russia stuff at all,” he wrote on an encrypted chat program. “Let’s get you here asap.”

They met two days later in the U.S. Virgin Islands and began combing for material on Mr. Trump, Russia and Robert Mercer, a top Trump donor. They didn’t discover bombshells — more like nuggets. One spreadsheet, for example, contained a list of all of the banks that owed money to one of Deutsche Bank’s American subsidiaries on a certain date — a list that included multiple Russian banks that would soon be under United States sanctions.

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to travel with him to Washington and meet some of his contacts. Mr. Broeksmit shared some of his files with a Senate investigator and — after snorting some heroin — a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The documents found their way to a team of anti-money-laundering agents at the New York Fed. Coincidence or not, a few months later, the Fed fined Deutsche Bank $41 million for violations inside the American unit that Bill Broeksmit had overseen. (A Fed spokesman declined to comment.)

Mr. Broeksmit moved to Los Angeles to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story. Early this year, a producer invited him to a dinner party. Among the guests was Moby, the electronic music legend, who told me he was impressed by Mr. Broeksmit’s exploits and existential sadness. Moby arranged an introduction to his friend Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which had recently opened an investigation into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Schiff’s investigators badly wanted the secret Deutsche files. Mr. Broeksmit tried to extract money from them — he pushed to be hired as a consultant to the committee — but that was a nonstarter. An investigator, Daniel Goldman, appealed to his sense of patriotism and pride. “Imagine a scenario where some of the material that you have can actually provide the seed that we can then use to blow open everything that [Trump] has been hiding,” Mr. Goldman told Mr. Broeksmit in a recorded phone call. “In some respects, you — and your father vicariously through you — will go down in American history as a hero and as the person who really broke open an incredibly corrupt president and administration.” (Mr. Broeksmit wouldn’t budge; eventually, Mr. Schiff subpoenaed him.)

It was around this time that Mr. Broeksmit had his meeting at the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office. Someone at the bureau had finally noticed his submission to the Justice Department’s website. After the three-hour session, Mr. Broeksmit still needed some stroking, and the F.B.I. agents obliged. They told Mr. Broeksmit he could have a special advisory title. They promised to keep him in the loop as their investigation proceeded. They let him tell the world — via this article — that he was a cooperating witness in a federal criminal investigation. They even helped procure a visa for his French girlfriend.

I had to tip my hat to Mr. Broeksmit. The man whom everyone had discounted and demeaned had managed to get his information into the hands of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the F.B.I. Even if the documents ultimately prove underwhelming to these powerful investigators, Mr. Broeksmit had accomplished one of his life’s goals: He mattered.

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Me and My Whistle-Blower

One sunny Wednesday in February, a gangly man in a sports jacket and a partly unbuttoned paisley shirt walked into the Los Angeles field office of the F.B.I. At the reception desk, he gave his name — Val Broeksmit — and began to pace anxiously in the lobby.

Mr. Broeksmit couldn’t believe he was voluntarily meeting with the F.B.I. An unemployed rock musician with a history of opioid abuse and credit card theft, not to mention a dalliance with North Korea-linked hackers, he was accustomed to shunning if not fearing law enforcement. But two investigators had flown from the bureau’s New York office specifically to speak with him, and Mr. Broeksmit had found their invitation too seductive to resist. Now the agents arrived in the lobby and escorted him upstairs.

They wanted to talk about Deutsche Bank — one of the world’s largest and most troubled financial institutions, and the bank of choice to the president of the United States. Mr. Broeksmit’s late father, Bill, had been a senior executive there, and his son possessed a cache of confidential bank documents that provided a tantalizing glimpse of its internal workings. Some of the documents were password-protected, and there was no telling what secrets they held or how explosive they could be.

Federal and state authorities were swarming around Deutsche Bank. Some of the scrutiny centered on the lender’s two-decade relationship with President Trump and his family. Other areas of focus grew out of Deutsche Bank’s long history of criminal misconduct: manipulating markets, evading taxes, bribing foreign officials, violating international sanctions, defrauding customers, laundering money for Russian billionaires.

In a windowless conference room, one of the agents pressed Mr. Broeksmit, 43, to hand over his files. “You’re holding documents that only people within the inner circle of Deutsche would ever see,” he said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157663062_41bacd08-1113-4095-ba88-47b844b59e00-articleLarge Me and My Whistle-Blower Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Sony Pictures Entertainment Sony Corporation Simpson, Glenn R Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Politics and Government North Korea News and News Media New York Times Money Laundering Justice Department Guardians of Peace Fusion GPS Federal Bureau of Investigation Deutsche Bank AG Cyberattacks and Hackers Boies, David Banking and Financial Institutions

The United States headquarters of Deutsche Bank in New York.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

“Clearly, things went on in Deutsche Bank which weren’t kosher,” added the second agent. “What we’re up against is, all those bad acts are being pushed down on the little people on the bottom.”

“The low-hanging fruit,” said the first agent.

“And the larger bank in its entirety is claiming ignorance and that it’s one bad player,” said his partner. “But we know what we’ve seen. It’s a culture of just — ”

“Fraud and dirt,” Mr. Broeksmit interjected. Already, he was warming to the idea of having a cameo in a high-stakes F.B.I. investigation. He spent the next three hours vaping, munching on raspberry-flavored fig bars and telling his story, entranced by the idea of helping the investigators go after executives high up the Deutsche Bank food chain. (Deutsche Bank has said it is cooperating with authorities in a number of investigations.)

When he finally emerged from the Los Angeles field office, Mr. Broeksmit got into a Lyft and called me. His adrenaline, I could tell, was still pumping; he was talking so fast he had to stop to catch his breath.

“I am more emotionally invested in this than anyone in the world,” he said. “I would love to be their special informer.”

Here’s the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden — each of them was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history.

For more than five years, Val Broeksmit has been dangling his Deutsche Bank files in front of journalists and government investigators, dreaming of becoming the next great American whistle-blower. He wants to expose what he sees as corporate wrongdoing, give some meaning to his father’s death — and maybe get famous along the way. Inside newsrooms and investigative bodies around the world, Mr. Broeksmit’s documents have become something of an open secret, and so are the psychological strings that come attached. I pulled them more than anyone, as part of my reporting on Deutsche Bank for The New York Times and for a book, “Dark Towers,” to be published next year. It has been the most intense source relationship of my career.

An endless procession of bank executives and friends of the Broeksmit family have warned me that Mr. Broeksmit is not to be trusted, and, well, they might have a point. His drug use has sent him reeling between manias and stupors. He has a maddening habit of leaping to outrageous conclusions and then bending facts to fit far-fetched theories. He fantasizes about seeing his story told by Hollywood, and I sometimes wonder whether he’s manipulating me to achieve that ambition. He can be impatient, erratic and abusive. A few days ago, irate that he was not named in a blurb for my book on Amazon, among other perceived slights, he sent me a string of texts claiming that he’d taken out a brokerage account in my name and traded on secret information I’d supposedly fed him. (This is not true.) A little later, he left me a voice mail message saying it was all a joke.

Why do I put up with this? Because his trove of corporate emails, financial materials, boardroom presentations and legal reports is credible — even if he is not. (In this article, every detail not directly attributed to Mr. Broeksmit has been corroborated by documents, recordings or an independent source.) Besides, there’s something uncanny about how Mr. Broeksmit’s fearlessness and addiction to drama have led him, again and again, to the center of the news. In addition to Deutsche Bank’s troubles, he has figured into North Korea’s hack of Sony Pictures, the collapse of the world’s oldest bank and the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Mr. Trump.

We might wish our whistle-blowers were stoic, unimpeachable do-gooders. In reality, to let you in on a journalistic secret, they’re often more like Val Broeksmit.

Val Broeksmit with his father at Wimbledon in 2013.CreditVal Broeksmit

On a drizzly Sunday in London in January 2014, Bill Broeksmit cinched his dog’s red leash around his neck, slung it over a door and lunged forward. He was 58.

The elder Broeksmit was widely known as the unofficial conscience of Deutsche Bank and a longtime confidant of the company’s chief executive, and his death shocked the financial world. I was a reporter in The Wall Street Journal’s London bureau, and there were rumors that Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide was connected to his work — that he regretted what he’d seen and done. My colleagues and I divvied up the unpleasant task of contacting his family, and I got Val. He was easy to track down: His band, Bikini Robot Army, had a website with his email address.

When I reached him, he was in New York for his father’s funeral, and at first he asked me to leave his family alone. “Everyone is very sad and grieving right now,” he wrote. But before long he was on the phone — angry, slurring his speech, insisting without evidence that he knew why his father had killed himself and that it had nothing to do with Deutsche Bank. Over the next several months, we kept in sporadic touch as Mr. Broeksmit bounced between rehab facilities in Florida and California, trying to beat an opioid addiction and teasing me with provocative messages. (He is open about his struggles with substance abuse.) He would say things like “I think I know what happened” and then never follow up; once, apropos of nothing, he sent a picture of a San Francisco building on fire.

Finally, on a Tuesday in July 2014, he emailed me a single line: “Are you still looking into deutsche?”

The evening after his father died, Mr. Broeksmit had found the passwords to his email accounts. Now, he told me that he had discovered hundreds of messages related to Deutsche Bank. Mr. Broeksmit asked if I could help him sift through and decipher them, and I suggested a list of search terms: things like “subpoena” and “DOJ,” for the Department of Justice.

He soon forwarded an item with a number of those keywords. “Don’t know what it means,” he said. I started skimming: It was a detailed letter to Deutsche Bank from a senior official at the New York arm of the Federal Reserve, who was furious with the bank for its slipshod accounting. Trying to contain my excitement, I asked if I could write about the document. I braced for a negotiation, but all Mr. Broeksmit said was, “That’s cool. Please don’t tell anyone where you’re getting this info.” (He has since released me from that promise.)

Four days later, I published an article describing the Fed’s concerns. The bank’s shares fell 3 percent. Mr. Broeksmit told me he felt empowered by having dented Deutsche’s market value by more than $1 billion.

What makes a person crave the attention of journalists? Consider where Val Broeksmit comes from.

He was born in Ukraine in 1976, and his parents, Alla and Alexander, emigrated to Chicago three years later. Their marriage collapsed; Val and his father landed in a homeless shelter; and in 1982, Cook County took custody of the boy, placing the frightened 6-year-old in a foster home.

Meanwhile, Alla met and married Bill Broeksmit, who was then an up-and-coming banker. They moved to New Jersey and eventually extracted Val, then 9, from the foster care system. Bill adopted him — an angry, impulsive child with a strong anti-authority streak. A caseworker who visited the family noted that he insisted on calling his parents by their first names.

Val’s friends told me that he acted out through his boarding school and college years, compensating for what he described as his parents’ icy detachment. He was the guy trying to keep the party going with a little coke at 3 a.m., cajoling girls to make out with each other, stealing expensive gear from his college’s music department. (Mr. Broeksmit acknowledges all of this.) He wanted to be the center of attention, to prove that he mattered. That’s part of the reason he became a rocker — “It’s less lonely with an audience,” he once told me — but Bikini Robot Army never hit it big. When his father died and Mr. Broeksmit came into possession of his documents, he finally had an opportunity to make the world pay attention.

After his initial leak to me in the summer of 2014, Mr. Broeksmit started seeking out other big stories. Late that year, a group of North Korea-linked hackers, calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, penetrated the computer systems of Sony Pictures. When the hack became public, Mr. Broeksmit followed a bread crumb trail of links until he eventually came across an email address for the hackers.

“I’m interesting in joining your GOP, but I’m afraid my computer skills are sophomoric at best,” Mr. Broeksmit emailed the Guardians of Peace. (Typo his.) “If I can help in any other facility please let me know.” He doubted the hackers would reply, but an email soon arrived with a primer on how to access Sony’s stolen materials. As he waited for the hundreds of gigabytes to download, he sent another email. “Hey, you guys ever thought about going after Deutsche Bank?” he wrote. “Tons of evidence on their servers of worldwide fraud.” The hackers didn’t respond.

Mr. Broeksmit, leaning into his new persona as an exposer of corporate secrets, took to Twitter to post embarrassing Sony files: deliberations over who might direct a remake of “Cleopatra”; Brad Pitt freaking out about the edit of “Fury.” He wasn’t the only one airing Sony’s laundry, but his prolific postings set him apart.

David Boies in New York in July. Mr. Boies was representing Sony when it demanded that Twitter shut down Val Broeksmit’s account.CreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

David Boies — Sony’s attorney and arguably the most famous lawyer in America — sent Twitter a letter demanding that it shut down Mr. Broeksmit’s account. Another letter, from a Sony executive, warned Mr. Broeksmit that Sony would “hold you responsible for any damage or loss” stemming from the materials he had published. A few days before Christmas, a colleague and I published an article about the huge corporation and its powerful lawyer threatening this random musician.

For the first time, Mr. Broeksmit was in the public spotlight. Soon he was on the Fox Business channel. “It seems like somebody’s trying to make you the fall guy, doesn’t it, Mr. Broeksmit?” an anchor asked. The lesson was clear: The media had ravenous appetites for documents that exposed the guts of giant corporations. It even seemed virtuous to share juicy material. And Mr. Broeksmit had plenty of that.

Spelunking through his Deutsche files, Mr. Broeksmit encountered detailed information about what was going on deep inside the bank. There were minutes of board meetings. Financial plans. Indecipherable spreadsheets. Password-protected presentations. And evidence of his father’s misery.

Here was the elder Broeksmit scolding his colleagues for not taking the Fed’s annual “stress tests” seriously. Here he was, in the months before his suicide, pushing executives to deal with the American division’s alarming staff shortages. Here he was talking to a criminal defense lawyer.

Mr. Broeksmit concluded that all this might help explain why his father had hanged himself. He told his therapist, an addiction specialist named Larry Meltzer, that he was on a quest to understand the suicide. Mr. Meltzer told me that he encouraged the inquiry. He also persuaded Alla Broeksmit to increase her son’s monthly stipend from $300 to $2,500.

Figuring that more information about his father’s death might be lodged in Alla’s email accounts, Mr. Broeksmit consulted some online tutorials and broke into her Gmail. Inside, he found an extraordinary demonstration of corporations’ power to control what the public knows.

In his mother’s inbox was a scan of the elder Broeksmit’s suicide note to Anshu Jain, at the time the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank. It was four sentences, handwritten in black ink on white printer paper.

Anshu,

You were so good to me and I have repaid you with carelessness. I betrayed your trust and hid my horrible nature from you. I can’t even begin to fathom the damage I have done.

I am eternally sorry and condemned.

Bill

Mr. Broeksmit could feel his father’s anguish. It left him in tears — and baffled. Why had his father been sorry? When had he ever been careless? How had he damaged the bank?

Mr. Broeksmit read on. He learned that his father had once looked into the conduct of some Deutsche Bank traders and concluded — mistakenly — that nothing was amiss. It turned out the traders were manipulating a benchmark known as Libor. The elder Broeksmit feared he could become a target of government investigators because he had failed to detect the fraud; spiraling, he consulted his physician and a psychologist.

Those doctors wrote to the coroner investigating Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide. One described the banker as having been “extremely anxious” over the Libor affair. The other added: “He was catastrophising, imagining worst case outcomes including prosecution, loss of his wealth and reputation.”

The coroner, Fiona Wilcox, scheduled a public hearing to discuss her findings. She intended to read aloud from the doctors’ letters. But on the morning of the inquest, at the courthouse, lawyers that Deutsche Bank had hired for the Broeksmit family took her aside and urged her not to do so in order to protect the family’s privacy.

Ms. Wilcox, who declined to comment, acquiesced. Nearly everything about Mr. Broeksmit’s specific anxieties was expunged. Where the psychologist had written that his patient imagined prosecution, the words were crossed out and replaced with “He imagined various issues.” The physician had originally described Mr. Broeksmit’s worry “about going to prison or going bankrupt even though he knew he was innocent. He kept on thinking back over all the thousands of emails he had sent over the years. He knew how lawyers can twist things round.” It was replaced with: “He told me he had been extremely anxious.” All of this — the originals, and the whitewashed version — had been emailed to Alla Broeksmit. Now they were in her son’s hands.

Val Broeksmit in Los Angeles, where he moved to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story.CreditOriana Koren for The New York Times

Mr. Broeksmit’s antics escalated. He fished his mother’s American Express details out of her email and bought laptops, a plane ticket to Paris, rooms in luxury hotels. He told friends he was investigating his father’s death, but I wondered if he just wanted to tell people (and himself) that he was on a noble mission. At one point, Mr. Broeksmit filled out a form on the Justice Department’s website: “I’m writing in hopes of speaking to someone at the DOJ in reference to the evidence I have showing major fraud at one of the world’s largest banks.” He got a note that his message had been passed to the F.B.I.’s New York field office, but no other acknowledgment.

Ms. Broeksmit eventually wised up to her son’s credit card theft, and by the end of 2016, he was running low on cash. (In a brief phone call last year, she told me that Mr. Broeksmit “is completely ostracized from the family.”) Word spread in journalism circles that the son of a dead Deutsche Bank executive had access to revelatory materials. In Rome on New Year’s Eve of 2016, Mr. Broeksmit shared the files with a reporter for the Financial Times, periodically excusing himself to snort 80-milligram hits of OxyContin, and the journalist later connected him with someone willing to pay for the documents. On the third anniversary of his father’s death — Jan. 26, 2017 — $1,000 arrived in his PayPal account.

The money was from Glenn R. Simpson, a former journalist who ran a research company called Fusion GPS. Weeks earlier, it had rocketed to notoriety as the source of the so-called Steele Dossier — a report by a former intelligence agent containing salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. Mr. Simpson was searching for more dirt and, Mr. Broeksmit told me, he agreed to pay $10,000 for the Deutsche materials. (Mr. Simpson declined to be interviewed.)

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to start searching for specific topics. “Any Russia stuff at all,” he wrote on an encrypted chat program. “Let’s get you here asap.”

They met two days later in the U.S. Virgin Islands and began combing for material on Mr. Trump, Russia and Robert Mercer, a top Trump donor. They didn’t discover bombshells — more like nuggets. One spreadsheet, for example, contained a list of all of the banks that owed money to one of Deutsche Bank’s American subsidiaries on a certain date — a list that included multiple Russian banks that would soon be under United States sanctions.

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to travel with him to Washington and meet some of his contacts. Mr. Broeksmit shared some of his files with a Senate investigator and — after snorting some heroin — a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The documents found their way to a team of anti-money-laundering agents at the New York Fed. Coincidence or not, a few months later, the Fed fined Deutsche Bank $41 million for violations inside the American unit that Bill Broeksmit had overseen. (A Fed spokesman declined to comment.)

Mr. Broeksmit moved to Los Angeles to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story. Early this year, a producer invited him to a dinner party. Among the guests was Moby, the electronic music legend, who told me he was impressed by Mr. Broeksmit’s exploits and existential sadness. Moby arranged an introduction to his friend Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which had recently opened an investigation into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Schiff’s investigators badly wanted the secret Deutsche files. Mr. Broeksmit tried to extract money from them — he pushed to be hired as a consultant to the committee — but that was a nonstarter. An investigator, Daniel Goldman, appealed to his sense of patriotism and pride. “Imagine a scenario where some of the material that you have can actually provide the seed that we can then use to blow open everything that [Trump] has been hiding,” Mr. Goldman told Mr. Broeksmit in a recorded phone call. “In some respects, you — and your father vicariously through you — will go down in American history as a hero and as the person who really broke open an incredibly corrupt president and administration.” (Mr. Broeksmit wouldn’t budge; eventually, Mr. Schiff subpoenaed him.)

It was around this time that Mr. Broeksmit had his meeting at the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office. Someone at the bureau had finally noticed his submission to the Justice Department’s website. After the three-hour session, Mr. Broeksmit still needed some stroking, and the F.B.I. agents obliged. They told Mr. Broeksmit he could have a special advisory title. They promised to keep him in the loop as their investigation proceeded. They let him tell the world — via this article — that he was a cooperating witness in a federal criminal investigation. They even helped procure a visa for his French girlfriend.

I had to tip my hat to Mr. Broeksmit. The man whom everyone had discounted and demeaned had managed to get his information into the hands of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the F.B.I. Even if the documents ultimately prove underwhelming to these powerful investigators, Mr. Broeksmit had accomplished one of his life’s goals: He mattered.

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Fusion GPS Mouthpiece Accidentally Bolsters Trump’s Claim of No Cover-Up

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President Donald Trump gestures towards members on the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, after returning from United Nations General Assembly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Sometimes evidence that pushes back on the liberal narrative comes from the oddest places.

In this case, we’ve been dealing with accusations all day that Trump tried to “cover-up” the Ukraine call by putting it on a top secret server. To be clear, regardless of motive, there’s nothing illegal about that. The President has absolute power to classify materials and handle White House communications. Regardless, this was supposedly a big scandal, although even the complainant seemed unsure of what he was actually alleging.

Of course, the more logical conclusion is that Trump put that call, along with many other calls, on the secure government server in order to stop the myriad of leaks that had been happening. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what the newest information points to.

That’s Natasha Bertrand, who made a name for herself throughout the Russia-gate fiasco by being a faithful conduit for Fusion GPS propaganda. She points out that the administration started storing calls on the more secure server after a myriad of leaks, including one involving the Australians. Makes sense, right? Of course, Bertrand isn’t meaning to help make Trump’s case here that the administration was simply trying to avoid leaks. Her piece centers on the ludicrous notion that making information more secure is somehow a “national security risk.”

Up is down, left is right. Less leaks means less secure or something. It not making sense is the point with media hacks like this.

Severely limiting the personnel able to view it would be the entire point. As noted in her original tweet, back in 2017, multiple private phone calls of Trump’s were leaked to the media in order to try to embarrass him. The natural reaction would be to limit access to stop the leaks by the intel community. Magically, the leaks did seem to stop and we haven’t seen another one involving a call until, you guessed it, this latest “whistle-blower” complaint which forced the release of the Ukraine call transcript. It’s almost like the intel community are partisan hacks and can’t be trusted?

Bertrand wasn’t done though. She then made this ridiculous claim.

As Redstate’s streiff points out, that’s not how any of this works. Barack Obama does not get to sign an EO stripping future President’s of their plenary power over classification. The order would apply to subservient positions in the government.

So while Bertrand’s first tweet inadvertently bolster’s Trump’s case that the point of the storage situation was to avoid leaks, she can’t help but follow it up with a bunch of ludicrous nonsense. That’s the Fusion GPS way, who’s no doubt feeding her these stories just as they did during the Mueller probe. The overarching point here is that Democrats currently have nothing. Even their biggest “bombshell” is easily explained away, not just by idle push back, but by proven precedent. The system wasn’t set up for this Ukraine call to cover it up. It was setup to stop an avalanche of leaks and it did its job until the intel community decided to strike again in a different way.

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RealClearInvestigations: Why didn’t FBI test Steele’s credibility on … Rick Wilson?

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It’s an interesting if largely academic question, but it’s not the gamechanger that Eric Felten suggests it is. By December 2016, a month after Donald Trump’s election, the FBI found itself in the middle of a furious effort to determine whether Christopher Steele’s dossier on Trump had reliable intelligence on his ties to Moscow. A new find by Judicial Watch in a FOIA demand shows that Steele’s direct customer for the dossier, Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson, passed on some non-specific dirt to the bureau. The Trump campaign was attempting to silence a former employee who knew all about Trump’s Russia connections — and that employee was “possibly” Rick Wilson.

Huh?

On Dec. 12, 2016, the FBI was informed of a new, specific claim from Glenn Simpson, Steele’s patron at opposition research outfit Fusion GPS — a tip with the whiff of a smoking gun: “A former Trump campaign official, possibly Rick Wilson, was talking about some of the Trump ties to Russia and the Trump Campaign tried to sue him for violating his non-disclosure agreement.”

What a remarkable break for the bureau. If true, a Trump insider, with closely guarded secrets to tell, could have provided agents with firsthand evidence of collusion with Russia. So, did the FBI hurry to chase down the one person most able to verify the claim – Rick Wilson himself, a veteran political strategist and Republican operative?

It did not. “Nope. Not a word,” Wilson told RealClearInvestigations when asked whether he ever heard from the bureau. Asked why Wilson was never contacted, bureau spokeswoman Carol Cratty replied, “The FBI has no comment.”

Why didn’t the FBI contact Wilson? For one thing, Wilson never did any work for Trump in the first place and was certainly not a “Trump insider” in December 2016. I confirmed that the old-fashioned way, by asking Rick directly. “At no point have I worked for Trump in any capacity,” he replied to me by Twitter DM when I asked whether he’d worked for Trump or ever signed an NDA. It’s curious that Felten didn’t clarify that at the time he got Wilson’s comment.

Wilson would have been a strange resource for the FBI anyway, which they likely already knew. He had been openly hostile to Trump since at least 2015, as the Tampa Bay Times noted in January 2018, and was willing to tell anyone and everyone exactly what he thought of the Republican nominee. Wilson did do some work for Evan McMullin in the 2016 cycle, which tends to show just how unhappy Wilson was with Trump. Even if Wilson did have an NDA with Trump, it seems very, very doubtful that it would have stopped him from exposing that kind of dirt on Trump early enough to keep him from getting the nomination, let alone to help McMullin in his independent bid.

Even if Simpson had someone else in mind, Felten still makes a category error or two in this logical progression. The first one is conflating Steele with Simpson, the latter of whom was apparently the source for this information. A credibility issue with Simpson wouldn’t have affected the FBI’s assessment of Steele, whose work they knew independently of Fusion GPS. The Wilson tip might have led to some serious questions about Fusion GPS’ credibility, but that would have been separate from Steele.

The second category error is similar to the first. The FBI was assessing the credibility of Steele’s sources, plural, rather than just Steele alone, who was already familiar to them. They had Steele’s dossier but needed to connect the dots themselves to determine independently whether the sources were credible. As Felten accurately recalls, the stories were very strange, and in retrospect very possibly disinformation intended to undermine confidence in the election. That need was three steps removed from Wilson or whoever was Simpson’s proposed source. One has little or nothing to do with the other.

In the end, of course, the whole thing proved to be a massive faceplant for the FBI for plenty of reasons. There’s no real logic to the idea that a phone call to Rick Wilson would have made that obvious in December 2016, or at least any more obvious than it should have been all along. Felten offers an interesting thought experiment here today, but it just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

The post RealClearInvestigations: Why didn’t FBI test Steele’s credibility on … Rick Wilson? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Backchannel Bruce: New Docs Show Obama FBI And State Department Worked Directly With Fusion GPS On Russia Collusion Hoax

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Investigative watchdog group Judicial Watch (JW) has released a trove of documents they obtained from the FBI via a FOIA request that confirm the suspicions of many: U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr took  his wife Nellie’s Fusion GPS research on the Trump family and associates directly to the FBI in an attempt to aid in a Russia collusion investigation.

Nellie Ohr, who was working with Fusion specifically researching foreign ties the Trump family and associates may have had, told congressional investigators six months ago at a closed-door hearing she would make her research available to them. As of early August, investigators were still waiting.

The new documents JW has released look to be at least referencing that information. Here’s Katie Pavlich of TownHall:

“On December 5, 2016, Bruce Ohr emailed himself an Excel spreadsheet, seemingly from his wife Nellie Ohr, titled ‘WhosWho19Sept2016.’ The spreadsheet purports to show relationship descriptions and ‘linkages’ between Donald Trump, his family and criminal figures, many of whom were Russians. This list of individuals allegedly ‘linked to Trump’ include: a Russian involved in a ‘gangland killing;’ an Uzbek mafia don; a former KGB officer suspected in the murder of Paul Tatum; a Russian who reportedly ‘buys up banks and pumps them dry’; a Russian money launderer for Sergei Magnitsky; a Turk accused of shipping oil for ISIS; a couple who lent their name to the Trump Institute, promoting its ‘get-rich-quick schemes’; a man who poured him a drink; and others,’ Judicial Watch released. “On December 5, 2016, Bruce Ohr emails himself a document titled “Manafort Chronology,’ another Nellie Ohr-Fusion GPS document, which details Paul Manafort’s travel and interactions with Russians and other officials.”

“FBI interview reports from December 5 and December 12, and December 20, 2017, show that Bruce Ohr ‘voluntarily’ gave these anti-Trump and Manafort materials, created for the Clinton campaign by Fusion GPS, to the FBI,” Judicial Watch found.

Additionally, the Obama State Department makes an appearance in the hundreds of documents released Wednesday:

“On February 14, 2017, former-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Kathleen Kavalec forwarded Ohr a Huffington Post article touting the Steele Dossier’s claim that an alleged deal between Russian oil company Rosneft and Trump supporter Steve Schwarzman constituted a ‘high crime of treason worthy of impeachment.’ Ohr forwarded the article to the FBI’s Washington Field Office the same day.”

It has long been speculated that Bruce Ohr may have served as a backchannel to Jim Comey’s FBI, carrying Russia collusion research even after former British spy Christopher Steele — author of the now-infamous dossier — was fired for talking to the press.

The JW documents would seem to support that speculation.

The Daily Caller has an interesting list of some of the names on Nellie Ohr’s spreadsheet and how they relate to President Trump, which reads like a wish list concocted by people looking for something — anything — that might implicate the president. In light of the fact that the Mueller report found no evidence of collusion, it makes the list appear even more desperate.

JW President Tom Fitton said the document dump also shows that the Justice Department and the FBI knew that Christopher Steele was “desperate” that Trump never see the inside of the Oval Office.

“These FBI notes show that the FBI, the Justice Department, and the State Department were working with the Clinton spy ring at Fusion GPS in what I would call a coup attempt against President Trump.”

 

The post Backchannel Bruce: New Docs Show Obama FBI And State Department Worked Directly With Fusion GPS On Russia Collusion Hoax appeared first on RedState.

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Fusion GPS Media Mouthpieces Take Aim At DNI Nominee John Ratcliffe

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Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Sunday, President Trump announced the long overdue departure of Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence and nominated former US Attorney and Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe to replace him. Replacing a creating of Washington, like Coats, with a conservative firebrand like Ratcliffe made a lot of people uneasy. In fact, as my colleague Bonchie noted, all the right people are sweating bullets.

One of the major players in the Russia hoax seems to be in a state of near panic. And by that I mean Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS is the company that was hired by the Clinton campaign, using a law firm as a cutout, and who in turn hired Christopher Steele to compose his dossier and then shopped that dossier around Washington. FusionGPS was involved in setting up the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting between senior Trump campaign officials and the “Russian lawyer,” Natalia Veselnitskaya. Veselnitskaya had actually worked for Fusion GPS and she met with Fusion PS chief Glenn Simpson both before and after the Trump Tower meeting. Simpson kept up his efforts to push the dossier even after Trump had been elected making it very clear that there was more at play here than a mere contract. Either this was a labor of love for Simpson or there was another paymaster lurking behind the scenes.

As has been documented here and elsewhere two reporters are closely associated with pushing Fusion GPS stories and story lines. Ken Delanian of NBC is so blatant that he’s often called “Fusion ken.” Natasha Bertrand of Politico’s stories, in addition to being a cornucopia of NeverTrump nutbaggery, also parallel what Fusion GPS seems to be pushing. So we’ve seen these stories emerge from those sources.

Why, you might ask, aren’t they saying the same thing? My guess is that Bertrand is pushing Ratcliffe as a “Russia hawk” as a way to diminish trust of him among Trump’s inner circle and put him in the same grouping as Coats. Delanian is pushing “he’s a Trump Tool” at Congress and advocacy groups. That one of the reporters closely associated with Fusion GPS is departing from the political conventional wisdom that is settling in about Ratcliffe seems more of an information operation than the reporting we’ve come to expect from her about anything concerning Trump.

Admittedly, they could be working on their own initiative but their relationship with Fusion GPS over the past three years has been both close and undeniable. Why would they suddenly bolt now when it is more important than ever that the role of Fusion GPS is pushing the Russia Hoax be buried deep because if it isn’t a lot of media reputations are going to go down in flames.

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Graham: “We’ll dig in” to determine Mueller’s role in the special-counsel probe

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Just a day ago, Lindsey Graham didn’t see the need to ask Robert Mueller to testify before his Senate Judiciary Committee. After Mueller’s surprisingly inept performance, especially at the House Judiciary meeting, Graham is a lot more curious about Mueller’s role in the special counsel probe. He told reporters that it’s become clear that Mueller was at best a figurehead in the investigation and pledged to “dig in” and get some answers:

Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that the GOP-controlled Senate would continue efforts alongside Attorney General William Barr to investigate whether the probe into the Trump campaign was begun improperly.

“Yeah, I talked to him last night, we talked about…I told him I’ll try to find out how all this mess started, and went so long,” Graham said, apparently referring to President Trump.

“It’s clear to me that Bob Mueller was pretty much a figurehead of the investigation,” Graham added. “We’ll dig in and find what happened.”

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read Allahpundit’s excellent analysis of the issue. In short: The New York Times reported that Mueller may have been nothing more than a tenuously connected point man for a probe he had little to do with directing, producing a report that he had little to do with writing. That would explain both why Mueller insisted on bringing Aaron Zebley as his wingman and why Mueller got tripped up on his own report. If you’ve spent 22 months investigating Russiagate, how can the name “Fusion GPS” not ring bells, after all?

Here’s that particular exchange with Rep. Steve Chabot, although it’s hardly the only disconnect Mueller displayed yesterday:

CHABOT: Thank you. Director Mueller, my Democratic colleagues were very disappointed in your report. They were expecting you to say something along the lines of he was (ph) — why President Trump deserves to be impeached, much as Ken Starr did relative to President Clinton back about 20 years ago. Well, you didn’t, so their strategy had to change. Now they allege that there’s plenty of evidence in your report to impeach the president, but the American people just didn’t read it. And this hearing today is their last best hope to build up some sort of groundswell across America to impeach President Trump. That’s what this is really all about today. Now a few questions: On page 103 of Volume 2 of your report, when discussing the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, you referenced, quote, “the firm that produced Steele reporting,” unquote. The name of that firm was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?

MUELLER: And you’re on page 103?

CHABOT: 103 (ph), that’s correct, Volume 2. When you talk about the — the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?

MUELLER: Yeah, I — I’m not familiar with — with that. I (inaudible)

CHABOT: (inaudible) It’s not — it’s not a trick question, right? It was Fusion GPS. Now, Fusion GPS produced the opposition research document wide — widely known as the Steele dossier, and the owner of Fusion GPA (sic) was someone named Glenn Simpson. Are — are you familiar with…

MUELLER: This is outside my purview.

Why would it be a big deal if Mueller didn’t do much of the work? Well, for one thing, Rod Rosenstein didn’t appoint Andrew Weissmann or Aaron Zebley as special counsel. He chose Mueller in large part because of his reputation for integrity and non-partisanship, hoping to dial down the tenor of the political conflict over Russian interference. Without Mueller, the probe would have been led by attorneys with significant Democratic Party connections, including Zebley’s legal work for the man who wiped Hillary Clinton’s server to keep investigators from reading her secret e-mails.

What will happen if Graham begins hearings into Mueller’s potential non-role as special counsel? We can expect Democrats to circle wagons around him, although it won’t do much good anyway. Mueller didn’t deliver what they wanted, and his poor performance on television likely eroded what confidence remained in the special-counsel investigation. So in order to defend Mueller from charges of being an absentee prosecutor, his allies will have to recast his performance as nothing short of brilliant.

And, lo! along comes Renato Mariotti to proclaim Mueller’s performance “awesome”:

Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony Wednesday has been described as “excruciatingly awkward,” “confused,” “struggling” and “a stammering, stuttering mess.”

I saw something completely different. From my perspective, after six hours of testimony, it was the 74-year-old career prosecutor and law enforcement officer who won the day. It wasn’t that close. …

Even if some think Mueller has lost a step since he last appeared before Congress six years ago, he still looked a step or two ahead of most of his questioners on Wednesday. Most importantly, he appeared above the fray, cautious, and fair in the face of bitter partisan rancor. That is what we should expect from prosecutors, and it is the legacy that Mueller leaves behind.

Who are you going to believe, Mariotti’s argument asks — me or your lying eyes? Don’t be surprised to see more of these “on second thought” takes coming from the media, either. Without Mueller’s full engagement, the report takes a mortal hit to its credibility.

But, frankly, that might only matter on Pennsylvania Avenue. The rest of America moved on from the Mueller probe in April after it became clear that there was no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians. Graham knows that better than most, which is why his first impulse to move on is the impulse on which he will act. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Graham and his committee to dig in rather than move on. Michael Horowitz’ report on the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane actions will come soon enough and crowd out this issue.

For now, though, it’s fine to dunk on Mueller. Here’s Graham last night with Sean Hannity having fun with it. “I had more to do with the Mueller report,” he tells Hannity, “than probably he did.”

The post Graham: “We’ll dig in” to determine Mueller’s role in the special-counsel probe appeared first on Hot Air.

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