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From Russia With Money: Hillary Clinton, the Russian Reset and Cronyism

Associate in Hillary Clinton Uranium One Russian Bribery Case Indicted

Postby smix » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:53 am

Associate in Hillary Clinton Uranium One Russian Bribery Case Indicted
Breitbart News

URL: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government ... -indicted/
Category: Politics
Published: January 13, 2018

Description: An 11-count indictment has been handed down from a grand jury investigating possible Russian bribery involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One deal negotiated when she was part of the Obama administration, a report says. The indictment was levied against Maryland resident Mark Lambert, a former co-president of a nuclear transportation company involved in Hillary Clinton’s deal to sell U.S. uranium interests to a Russian company. A Department of Justice statement says that the 54-year-old Lambert was charged with “one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering.” The statement added:
The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.

The charges come on the heels of an eight-year investigation into the sale of Uranium One to the Russian company. The sale was completed in 2013. Peter Schweizer, Government Accountability Institute president and Breitbart News senior editor-at-large, broke the Uranium One scandal in his book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. The Uranium One scandal centers on the partial sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One to Russia’s atomic energy giant Rosatom. The Obama administration was required to approve the sale because it transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium stocks to Russia. As it happens, Hillary Clinton was on the federal board that approved the deal in 2010. In his Clinton Cash bestseller, Schweizer reported that nine foreign investors in the deal gave $145 million to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s personal charity, the Clinton Foundation. Also around that time, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow, raising serious questions about backdoor “pay-to-play” payoffs. In December, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the DOJ to re-examine the evidence in the Uranium One investigation, fulfilling a promise one of his subordinates made to Congress to take another look at the case. It is unclear if this re-examination resulted in the indictment, but it is clear that the case had become dormant during the last few years. Even the New York Post suggested that Sessions should re-open the investigation into the scandal, saying in a November editorial, “If crimes were committed to further Russia’s nuclear goals here, Americans need to know.”



Whoops! FBI ‘Loses’ Five Months of Texts Between FBI Agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page
Breitbart News

URL: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government ... lisa-page/
Category: Politics
Published: January 21, 2018

Description: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost about five months of text messages between two top officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who openly disparaged then-candidate Donald Trump while working on the Clinton email investigation and the Russia probe investigation, according to a top Republican senator. The officials in question are Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — the two senior FBI officials who had texted each other hundreds of text messages in which they shared how much they loathed Trump and spoke of an “insurance policy” in the case of Trump’s election. Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) revealed in a January 20, 2018, letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray that the FBI said their technical system failed to preserve texts exchanged between Strzok and Page between December 14, 2016, though May 17, 2017. “The loss of records from this period is concerning because it is apparent from other records that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page communicated frequently about the investigation,” Johnson said in his letter. Michael Doran, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, astutely noted that May 17, 2017, was the date that the Special Counsel was convened.
What a weird coincidence! “Misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades” destroyed the Strzok-Page text messages during a period that ended on May 17, the very day Mueller started. How bizarre is that? It's almost as if it was planned that way. — Mike (@Doranimated) January 21, 2018

The inspector general first found the texts between Strzok and Page while investigating whether political bias played a role either in the Clinton email investigation or the investigation into the Trump campaign. Strzok was deputy chief of counterintelligence, played a leading role on the Clinton investigation, and reportedly is the one who watered down language that could have held criminal implications for Clinton. He oversaw the Trump investigation when it was opened in July 2016. Strzok and Page were assigned to the special counsel investigation, but after the Justice Department inspector general found the texts, Strzok was promptly removed. Page had left weeks earlier, reportedly because her assignment to the special counsel had ended. Strzok was engaged in an extramarital affair with Page. Johnson said in the letter that he learned of the missing texts on February 19 after the FBI handed over an additional 384 texts to the committee. According to Johnson, Strzok and Page discussed speeding up the investigation into Clinton once it became clear that Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee. “Now the pressure really starts to finish [midyear exam],” Strzok wrote, using the secret name for the Clinton email investigation. “It sure does,” Page replied. Johnson also revealed texts between Strzok and Page that showed they discussed efforts to water down then-FBI Director James Comey’s statement on the Clinton email investigation. An original statement was going to reveal that Clinton wrongly used her personal email in an exchange with “the president while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary.” “Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email,” it said. However, on June 30, 2016, “the president” was replaced with “another senior government official,” Strzok notified Page. The final statement scrubbed the whole reference. Strzok and Page suggested that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew that there would be no charges against Clinton even before they interviewed her and other key witnesses. After Lynch announced that she would rely on the recommendation of then-FBI Director James Comey’s determination in the Clinton email investigation, due to the impropriety of her meeting with Bill Clinton on a tarmac, Strzok texted Page that her statement “looks like hell.” Page responded: “And yeah, it’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought.” At that time, Clinton, along with other key witnesses, had not yet been interviewed by the FBI. Johnson is now asking the FBI to follow up with more details about the lost records and about whether it has conducted searches of non-government issued devices. Other lawmakers are demanding answers. House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said in a tweet Sunday: “FBI Director Wray needs to provide an explanation for why the FBI deleted six months’ worth of Strozk-Page text messages sent during the Trump transition and early months of the Trump presidency. Was evidence about the anti-Trump ‘insurance policy’ deleted?” Hudson tweeted: “People must go to jail. It’s critical. Our gov will not regain legitimacy unless the public believes that elite crimes get punished. And by ‘jail’ I do not mean a fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Being surrounded by academics can feel like incarceration, but it’s not jail.” House intelligence committee staffers have put together a four-page classified memo that reportedly explains how the FBI relied upon the salacious and unverified Trump dossier to investigate the Trump campaign. That is expected to be released in the upcoming weeks.



Report: FBI Informant Tells Congress Moscow Routed Millions to Influence the Clintons
Breitbart News

URL: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government ... e-efforts/
Category: Politics
Published: February 8, 2018

Description: An FBI informant told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions to America with the expectation it would benefit Bill Clinton’s charitable efforts as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed through a “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations, the Hill reported. The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the statement, which was obtained by the Hill, that Russian nuclear executives told him Moscow hired American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide because it would influence the Obama administration and specifically Hillary Clinton. Campbell testified, according to the Hill, that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clinton’s Global Initiative.” “The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over 12 months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement. “ APCO officials told the Hill that its support for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and its work with Russia were not connected in any way, and involved different divisions of the firm. They also said their lobbying for Russia did not involve Uranium One but instead focused on regulatory issues aimed at helping Russia better compete for nuclear fuel contracts inside the United States. “APCO Worldwide’s activities involving client work on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way,” APCO told the Hill in a statement. “All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law. Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill Campbell’s testimony is part of a GOP effort to distract investigators from President Trump’s “problems.” “Just yesterday the committee made clear that this secret informant charade was just that, a charade. Along with the widely debunked text-message-gate and Nunes’ embarrassing memo episode, we have a trifecta of GOP-manufactured scandals designed to distract from their own President’s problems and the threat to democracy he poses,” he told the Hill. Campbell on Wednesday testified before staff from both parties on the Senate Judiciary, House Intelligence and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, asserted in a letter this week that Justice Department officials told both parties during a briefing in December that they ultimately found they “could not trust” Campbell when he was working as an FBI informant. Republicans note that the FBI found Campbell’s undercover work valuable enough to reward him with a $50,000 check in 2016. “My FBI handlers praised my work. They told me on various occasions that details from the undercover probe had been briefed directly to FBI top officials. On two occasions my handlers were particularly excited, claiming that my undercover work had been briefed to President Obama as part of his daily presidential briefing,” he said in the testimony. Campbell said in his testimony that Obama administration officials made decisions that benefitted the Russian nuclear industry, which was seeking to build a monopoly in the global uranium market to help President Vladimir Putin seek geopolitical advantage over the U.S. He wrote that wrote that Russian nuclear executives “boasted” during vodka-fueled meetings monitored by the FBI about “how weak the U.S. government was in giving away uranium business and were confident that Russia would secure the strategic advantage it was seeking in the U.S. uranium market.” Campbell said he asked his FBI handlers why the U.S. was not more aggressive. “I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that politics was somehow involved,” he said. GOP investigators are interested in how Campbell’s experience connects with the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal, which gave Russian mining giant Rosatom control of roughly 20 percent of the U.S.’s capacity to mine uranium. That deal was approved unanimously in 2010 by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a multi-agency board that includes the State, Defense, and Justice Departments, in addition to other agencies. The purpose of CFIUS is to block deals that could threaten U.S. national security. Clinton was secretary of state at the time the deal went through, although Clinton associates say she had nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, Campbell had helped the FBI gather evidence as early as 2009 that the Russian nuclear industry was engaged in a kickback, bribery and racketeering scheme on U.S. soil, the Hill reported last fall. The scheme compromised the U.S. trucking firm that had the sensitive job of transporting uranium around America. Campbell said he provided the FBI that evidence months before the Obama administration approved a series of favorable decisions that enriched Rosatom, including the Uranium One deal. Campbell could not discuss the case with Congress until the Justice Department freed him to do so last year. He also gave congressional committees documents he said he provided to his FBI handlers in 2010 showing that the Russian and American executives implicated in the Tenex bribery scheme specifically asked him to try to help get the Uranium One deal approved by the Obama administration. According to the Hill, Campbell said:
“In 2010, officials inside Tenex became interested in helping another Rosatom subsidiary, ARMZ, win Obama administration approval to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive Kazakh and large U.S. uranium assets. ... “Although Tenex and ARMZ are separate subsidiaries, Tenex had its own interest in Uranium One. Tenex would become responsible for finding commercial markets and revenue for those uranium assets once they were mined. “The emails and documents I intercepted during 2010 made clear that Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One – for both its Kazakh and American assets – was part of Russia’s geopolitical strategy to gain leverage in global energy markets. ... “I obtained documentary proof that Tenex was helping Rosatom win CFIUS approval, including an October 6, 2010 email … asking me specifically to help overcome opposition to the Uranium One deal.”

Campbell said the purchase of the Uranium One assets and the securing of billions of new uranium sales contracts inside the U.S. during the Obama years were part of the “Russian uranium dominance strategy.” “The importance of the Uranium One decision to Tenex was made clear by the fact that the Russian government directed Mikerin to open a new U.S. office for Tenex and to create a new American entity called Tenam in early October 2010, just weeks before Rosatom and ARMZ won the Obama administration approval to buy Uranium One,” he said, according to the testimony. “Rosatom/Tenex threw a party to celebrate, which was widely attended by American nuclear industry officials. At the request of the FBI, I attended and recorded video footage of Tenam’s new offices,” he said. Campbell also testified that under the FBI’s direction, he conducted a failed sting effort to lure Putin to the United States and gathered evidence that Russia was helping Iran build its nuclear capability. He gave Congress an April 16, 2010, memo he said he wrote and gave to the FBI that spelled out Russian efforts to aid Iran. “Tenex continues to supply Iran fuel through their Russian company,” he wrote in that memo, obtained by the Hill. “They continue to assist with construction consult [sic] and fabricated assemblies to supply the reactor. Fabricated assemblies require sophisticated engineering and are arranged inside the reactor with the help and consult” of Russians. “The final fabricators to Iran are being flown by Russian air transport due to the sensitive nature of the equipment,” his 2010 memo to the FBI added. Campbell also said he was never reimbursed by the FBI for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he used of his own money to make bribe payments under the FBI’s direction to the Russians to facilitate his cover. Campbell said what he witnessed frustrated him. “I was frustrated watching the U.S. government make numerous decisions benefiting Rosatom and Tenex while those entities were engaged in serious criminal conduct on U.S. soil,” he wrote. “Tenex and Rosatom were raking in billions of U.S. dollars by signing contracts with American nuclear utility clients at the same time they were indulging in extortion by using threats to get bribes and kickbacks, with a portion going to Russia for high ranking officials.”



Uranium One Informant Attorney: Clintons Can Attack All They Want, But My Client Has the Truth
Breitbart News

URL: http://www.breitbart.com/video/2018/02/ ... ent-truth/
Category: Politics
Published: February 8, 2018

Description: During a Thursday appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” Victoria Toensing, attorney for FBI informant Douglas Campbell, fired back at Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill for saying her client was participating in a “charade” by informing the FBI that Russia paid a lobbying group $3 million to “provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.” Toensing argued that $3 million is “a lot of money for a year of lobbying” and defended her client’s credibility. “[Campbell] came out because he thought he was dying from cancer and he wanted his story to be told,” Toensing explained. “They can go attack all they want to. He’s got the truth, he’s got briefings, the FBI has all kinds of videotapes.” Toensing added that the Russians thought they had “died and gone to heaven” when Clinton became secretary of state in 2009 and said that is when they began planning out the Uranium One purchase. The 2010 controversial deal transferred 20 percent of all U.S. uranium to Russia via the sale of the Uranium One company, a Canadian mining company, just as nine foreign investors in the deal gave $145 million to the Clinton charity. Given the stake in the U.S. uranium reserves, the deal required approval U.S. government.
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FBI informant on Uranium One Breaks Silence

Postby smix » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:13 pm

FBI informant on Uranium One Breaks Silence
Sara A Carter

URL: https://saraacarter.com/fbi-informant-u ... nce-today/
Category: Politics
Published: February 7, 2018

Description: Testified to three committees on Capitol Hill
An informant who spent years gathering information on the Russian energy and uranium market industry for the FBI, met staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight, and House Intelligence Committees on Wednesday. He gave explosive testimony on his years as an undercover informant providing information to the FBI on Russian criminal networks operating in the United States. He also contends in his testimony, and written briefs, to the FBI that Russia attempted to hide its ongoing aid to help sustain Iran’s nuclear industry, at the time the Obama administration approved the sale of 20 percent of U.S. uranium mining rights to Russia. William D. Campbell, an American businessman, provided extensive information on other counterintelligence issues to the FBI for decades and he had also provided information to the CIA on various issues during his time overseas. “For several years my relationship with the CIA consisted of being debriefed after foreign travel,” Campbell noted in his testimony, which was obtained by this reporter. “Gradually, the relationship evolved into the CIA tasking me to travel to specific countries to obtain specific information. In the 1990’s I developed a working relationship with Kazakhstan and Russia in their nuclear energy industries. When I told the CIA of this development, I was turned over to FBI counterintelligence agents.” The informant’s attorney, Victoria Toensing partner at the firm DiGenova & Toensing, said the following: “Mr. Campbell testified for over four hours until he answered every question from three Congressional committees; the Senate Judiciary, House Oversight and House Intelligence committees. He recounted numerous times that the Russians bragged that the Clintons’ influence in the Obama administration would ensure CIFIUS approval for Uranium One. And he was right.” The recent revelations over the past year regarding Campbell’s undercover work for the FBI, sparked a Department of Justice investigation into the Obama Administration’s handling of the sale of U.S. uranium mining assets to Russia. On Wednesday, he shared with the committee information he provided to the FBI and has in the past described his frustration with the Obama administration’s failure to stop Russia’s nuclear giant from purchasing 20 percent of American uranium mining assets. Campbell testified before numerous Congressional investigators that his extensive counterintelligence work on Russia and stated that during his time as an informant, he obtained information that Russia was continuing to aid the Iranian government. According to Campbell Russia provided the resources necessary for the nation’s nuclear reactors, despite promises that they were not sharing such technology with Iran. In an April 16, 2010, summary brief provided to his former FBI handlers and obtained by this reporter, he stressed his deep concerns about Tenex, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian state nuclear arm Rosatom and its ongoing work to provide Iran with the technology needed for its nuclear reactor program. At the time, Rosatom was seeking the approval to purchase the Canadian mining company Uranium One. “TENEX continues to supply Iran with fuel through their Russian company TVEL,” stated Campbell in a 2010 brief provided to the FBI. TVEL is a Russian nuclear fuel cycle company headquartered in Moscow. “They (TVEL) continue to assist with construction consult and fabricated assemblies to supply the reactor. Fabricated assemblies require sophisticated engineering and are arranged inside the reactor with the help and consult of TVEL.” Campbell informed the FBI of the close relationship between TVEL and TENEX, both a part of the Rosatom group. He stated in his brief that while spending time with the Russian executives from both Rosatom and Tenex, that any mention of “TVEL is a subject that is serious to all when mentioned. I do not even raise the subject of TVEL to our friends, but occasionally they speak of it and always in a guarded manner.” In the briefs, he informed the FBI that “occasionally someone will mention having been in Iran but usually it is long after the fact.”
“His response was a smile and shoulder shrug”
And when he asked the Russians about these connections, he stated that they “occasionally speak of the relationship, i.e. equipment, consulting. I asked Vadim (Mikerin) if they felt there was a serious problem, and would they adhere to sanctions and western opinion. His response was a smile and shoulder shrug.” But Campbell had provided the FBI with evidence of the criminal network and delivered the information to the FBI. which was monitoring his work as an informant and approving his transfer of bribery money to the Russians. Those transfers, which were made in bulk $50,000 sums and at times delivered in cash, occurred between senior executives of the American transportation company and the Russian executives connected to Rosatom. He had given the FBI irrefutable evidence showing how contracts obtained from the same Russian energy company Tenex, were based on contract bribery and other nefarious actions, he said. Senior members of the FBI, Department of Treasury, Department of Energy and Department of Justice were also briefed on Campbell’s information and were apprised of the various facets pertaining to Russia’s acquisition of the Canadian company. In fact, Campbell had been told by his FBI handlers that his work had made it at least twice into President Obama’s classified presidential daily briefings. “The Russians expressed a sense of urgency to secure new U.S. uranium business because they knew that the two-decades-old “Megatons to Megawatts” program would cease in 2013,” Campbell said. “Then Russia would no longer be guaranteed a market to sell recycled nuclear warhead materials as peaceful reactor fuel in the United States. I gathered evidence for the FBI by moving closer and closer to the Russians’ key nuclear industry players, including those inside the United States and high-ranking Russian officials who would visit.” Despite the insurmountable evidence collected by Campbell, the Obama administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved Russia’s purchase of Uranium One in the fall of 2010. That approval by the Obama administration gave Moscow extensive rights to buy and sell more atomic fuels. “I was speechless and angry in October 2010 when CFIUS approved the Uranium One sale to Rosatom. I was deeply worried that TLI continued to transport sensitive uranium despite the fact that it had been compromised by the bribery scheme,” stated Campbell in his testimony to lawmakers. “I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that “politics” was somehow involved. I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct. His answer: “Ask your politics.” It wasn’t until years later in 2015 that American businessman Daren Condrey, whose company Transportation Logistics International, plead guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and conspiring to commit wire fraud, according to the DOJ. Russian national Vadim Mikerin, who was a top official of the Russian nuclear arms subsidiary Tenex and would later become president of Tenam the American subsidiary of Rosatom, was also sentenced in December 2015. Mikerin, who only plead guilty to money laundering, was arrested for a racketeering scheme that dated back to 2004. He was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Boris Rubizhevsky, another Russian national from New Jersey, who was president of the security firm NEXGEN Security, was also involved in the conspiracy and plead guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering in 2015. He served as a consultant to Tenam and to Mikerin. Rubizhevsky was sentenced to prison last year along with three years of supervised release and a $26,500 fine, according to a recent Reuters report. And Mark Lambert, 54, a co-owner of Transportation Logistics International, was charged this month on an “11-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering,” as stated in the DOJ press release. Lambert’s charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Mikerin in order to secure contracts with TENEX, according to the DOJ release. Lambert is fighting the charges, according to a Reuters report.
The Informant
Campbell, whose from the South Eastern United States, founded a company in 1981 early in his career that focused on agriculture and energy consulting for foreign companies. He was the Chief Operating Officer, and “led the company’s expansion into Europe and the Middle East,” stated Toensing. During his time working in the Middle East in the 1980s he came into possession of information he thought would be of interest to the U.S. government and “contacted the local FBI office and presented the plans to an agent,” he relayed to congressional members. That was the beginning of Campbell’s informant with the FBI. In the 1990’s Campbell traveled to Kazakhstan and Russia developing relationships in their nuclear energy industries. It was at that point that the Campbell also gave began providing information to the FBI’s counterintelligence agents. “Through my energy consulting, I began to make inroads into the Russian nuclear industry, first in Kazakhstan through Swiss contacts and then in Russia,” Campbell’s statement said. “My FBI assignments included providing information about Russian efforts to secure large swaths of Kazakh uranium in the 1990’s and again around the time former President Bill Clinton visited the region as a private citizen in 2005, accompanied by a donor to his Foundation, Frank Giustra.” He was reimbursed for his expenses and at times receive a modest compensation for his work with the FBI, he testified. “By far the largest and most significant payment I received was in January 2016,” he noted. “The FBI presented me a $50,000-plus check thanking and commending me for my work from 2009 to 2014 in the investigation of the Russian nuclear energy industry.” “Putin wanted Russia to dominate the world’s uranium supply, a goal of crucial interest to the U.S. government. At the same time, the Russian companies – Rosatom and Tenex – were engaged in racketeering,” his testimony stated. Campbell, who was using the money paid to him by the FBI for his work and expressed his frustration to the FBI over their failure to reimburse him approximately $500,000 he had spent on payments to facilitate the undercover case, Toensing added. In January 2016 the FBI invited him to a dinner in Crystal City, Virginia, where they presented him with a check for just over $50,000 and thanked him for his work, said Toensing. A copy of the check has been obtained by this reporter. In 2016, Campbell filed a lawsuit in Maryland federal court against the Russian nuclear entities asking for the return of the money he had to launder out of his own paychecks. His lawyers were advised by the DOJ a few days of filing the lawsuit that prosecutors in the Fraud Section of the Justice Department under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, demanded the withdrawal the lawsuit. According to a letter, obtained by this reporter, the DOJ threatened to destroy Campbell’s reputation and prosecute him for violating a non-disclosure agreement he had signed with the FBI. Late last year, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions lifted Campbell’s NDA agreement so he could speak to Congress about his case and involvement in the investigation.
Campbell’s Briefs and Reports
The Russians were working to secure their global expansion of the energy market and according to his briefings to the FBI on August 2011, that “the Russians are going to do what they need to do to secure their influence, whether it’s in Europe, Iran or any other part of the world…they know that nobody’s in a position to stop them… not even us…unless we want to run a huge risk of massive confrontation.” More importantly noted Campbell, the “fuel fabricators to Iran are being flown by Russian air transport due to the sensitive nature of the equipment. Taking them overland or by sea makes no sense when they can have them inside Iran in a matter of hours.” But by 2010, the Russian government was working diligently to get approval from the Obama administration to purchase Uranium One. They wanted to downplay their relationship with Iran and were afraid that Republicans, who were against the proposed deal, would find a way to stop the approval process. They hired lobbying firms and sought the counsel of American experts in the energy market. Cherly Moss Herman, currently with the United States Department of Energy but who worked as private energy consultant on environmental issues at the time, produced a detailed report for the Russian nuclear company, as previously reported. The document Moss Herman wrote as a consultant in 2010 was for TENAM/Tenex, according to the consulting memorandum she provided to the Russian subsidiary. TENAM is a fully-owned U.S. subsidiary of Tenex, which is 100 percent owned by the Russian state-controlled nuclear Rosatom, according to public documentation. Titled “Policy/Legislative Issues Affecting the Business Climate in the U.S. for TENAM/Tenex,” the memorandum discussed the Department of Energy’s uranium regulations. She is now employed at the DOE’s Office Nuclear Energy where she? develops sustainable fuel cycles. The Moss October 7, 2010, report discusses the congressional atmosphere regarding uranium, specifically states that “some Republicans truly fear the entry of Russia into the U.S. market, as demonstrated by the fact that they are taking steps to block the purchase of Uranium One ….” Her memo outlined methods for the Obama administration to loosen U.S. restrictions on Rosatom to not only export nuclear materials but also secure billions of dollars in new uranium sales to American utilities, according to the report. In late 2010, the Russians succeeded at doing both, while at the same time their companies were engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise on U.S. soil. Moss Herman’s 2010 memorandum outlined “the current status, including background information, and discussion on a few key issues that could affect the business climate for TENAM/Tenex’s directly and also introduces a number of other issues that could also have an impact on the nuclear business climate in the United States.” “Some Republicans truly fear the entry of Russia into the U.S. market, as demonstrated by the fact that they are taking steps to block the purchase of Uranium One by Atomredmetzoloto,” she stated. Atomredmetzoloto, known as ARMZ, is the mining arm of Rosatom. On June 8, 2010, Uranium One announced it had signed an agreement that would give “not less than 51%” of the company to JSC Atomredmetzoloto, or ARMZ. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Uranium One has two licensed mining operations in Wyoming that amount to about “20 percent of the currently licensed uranium in-situ recovery production capacity in the U.S.”



New Report Exposes Strzok and Page Texts
Sara A Carter

URL: https://saraacarter.com/new-report-sugg ... ion-obama/
Category: Politics
Published: February 7, 2018

Description: Obama demanded to “know everything” about Clinton’s email probe; despite pledging to the American people to not interfere with the ongoing investigation in 2016
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a report Wednesday suggesting FBI Special Agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page gave updates on the bureau’s investigation to President Obama into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information. The committee focused on the FBI’s investigation into the email server scandal, which included an extensive review of 384 pages of text messages between Strzok, who was removed from Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into President Trump’s campaign, and Page, who serves as a senior FBI lawyer for the bureau. In the report, Johnson reveals one set of texts messages between Strzok and Page, who were also having an affair, suggesting that they had been tasked by then FBI Director James Comey with putting together talking points for President Obama, who apparently wanted to be briefed on all aspects of the case. Page wrote in a Sept. 2, 2016, text exchange with Strzok that she was preparing the talking points because “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.” She was referring to President Obama in the text. Although sometimes cryptic and disjointed due to their nature, these text messages raise several questions about the FBI and its investigation of classified information on Secretary Clinton’s private email server,” Johnson states in the report. “Strzok and Page discussed serving to ’protect the country from the menace’ of Trump ’enablers,’ and the possibility of an ’insurance policy’ against the ’risk’ of a Trump presidency.” The report reiterates earlier obtained text messages between the FBI agents where they discussed “Attorney General Loretta Lynch knowing that Secretary Clinton would not face charges before the FBI had interviewed Secretary Clinton and before her announcement that she would accept Director Comey’s prosecution decision.” The pair of agents also wrote about drafting talking points for “Director Comey because President Obama,” as Page texts, “ wants to know everything we’re doing.” The texts appear to contradict President Obama’s statement in an April 2016 interview on Fox News Sunday when he said that he was not privy to the details of the ongoing investigation. “I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations,” Obama said. “I do not talk to the FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line, and always have maintained it.” Obama also stated that Clinton, “would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy…What I also know is that there’s classified and then there’s classified. There’s stuff that is really top secret top secret, and then there’s stuff that is being presented to the president, the secretary of state, you may not want going out over the wire.” Stzok and Page, now at the center of ongoing Congressional inquiries into their behavior, sent thousands of texts to each other. They often discussed their views on the investigation and possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. The pair also made disparaging remarks about President Trump, other government officials and American’s who voted for Trump. Concern mounted when the text messages were retrieved by the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting his own investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email server. In the report, Johnson states concern over Comey’s previous Congressional testimony. He told members of Congress while he was under oath that he had not consulted with the Justice Department or the White House regarding the investigation. That would appear to be a direct contradiction to the texts between Page and Strzok, Johnson’s report states. President Trump tweeted out Wednesday the “NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!” Republicans are seizing on the opportunity to move forward with their investigations into the issues, despite pushback from the Department of Justice, FBI and Democrats. Johnson states in the report that the text about Obama “raises additional questions about the type and extent of President Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email scandal and the FBI investigation of it.” The report adds that other questions that “deserve further examination” include whether “any personal animus and/or political bias influenced the FBI’s investigation,” and whether the Obama Justice Department or White House influenced the investigation. “The text messages raise several important questions that deserve further examination,” Johnson’s report states. He wants to know “whether, and the extent to which, any personal animus and/or political bias influenced the FBI’s investigation.” They also want to know what “extent to which, the Obama Department of Justice or White House influenced the FBI’s investigation and…whether, and the extent to which, any personal animus and/or political bias influenced the FBI’s actions with respect to President Trump.”



Referral Suggests Clinton Friends Were “Feeding” British Spy Information
Sara A Carter

URL: https://saraacarter.com/referral-sugges ... formation/
Category: Politics
Published: February 5, 2018

Description: Highly redacted document released by Senate Judiciary Committee reveals Christopher Steele wrote an additional memo
A new and highly redacted document released Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveals that former British spy Christopher Steele, the man behind the unverified and controversial dossier, wrote an additional memo regarding alleged Russian collusion with President Donald Trump but that the information was largely based on information provided by allies of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, sent a criminal referral regarding Steele’s involvement in the dossier to the Department of Justice referral January 4. The criminal referral confirms that allies of Clinton and the Obama administration were providing Steele with what they deemed damaging information on then candidate-elect Trump. The Senate Judiciary Committee spent more than a month in talks with the DOJ about what parts of the referral, which was classified Top Secret, should be redacted from the document before it became public. “One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by Buzzfeed is dated October 19, 2016. The report alleges (redacted), as well as (redacted). Mr. Steele’s memorandum states that his company “received this report from (redacted) U.S. State Department,” that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who ‘is in touch with (redacted) US State Department,’ that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a sub-source who ‘is in touch with (redacted), a contact of (redacted) of (redacted) a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to (redacted).” “It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” the criminal referral states. In the document, Grassley and Graham noted that “there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.” The pair of lawmakers also allege that Steele was compiling information on Trump and his campaign before being hired by now embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign for his work. “Pursuant to that business arrangement, Mr. Steele prepared a series of documents styled as intelligence reports, some of which were later compiled into a ‘dossier’ and published by Buzzfeed in January 2017,” the referral states. “On the face of the dossier, it appears that Mr. Steele gathered much of his information from Russian government sources inside Russia.” According to several U.S. Officials who spoke to this reporter, Cody Shearer, a former journalist and close ally of Hillary and Bill Clinton, was closely connected to Steele and shared information with the former spy. Shearer worked in the 90s for President Bill Clinton. Steele, whose prior work with British intelligence gave him access to U.S. intelligence and State Department officials, also appeared to be in contact with Jonathan Winer, a current State Department official who also worked under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Winer is the “State Department’s Special Envoy for Libya and Senior Advisor for MEK resettlement,” according to the State Department website. Another connection to the second dossier, according to several sources who spoke to this reporter, is close friend and advisor to Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal. As reported several weeks ago, Blumenthal’s connection to the dossier still remains somewhat of a mystery but according to several sources he allegedly was one source that Steele used to verify certain aspects of his dossier. Department of Justice officials declined to comment on Blumenthal or the dossier. FBI officials also declined to comment. Blumenthal did not return a phone call seeking comment. Blumenthal worked as a White House aide for Bill Clinton, and later worked with the Clinton Foundation after being denied a role by Obama Administration officials with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to reports. Politico revealed that Blumenthal was being paid $10,000 a month by the Clinton Foundation. In 2015, emails released by the State Department showed the extensive and ongoing working relationship between Clinton and Blumenthal. The emails also revealed that then-Secretary of State Clinton would seek Blumenthal’s advice on Libya, according to the emails. Blumenthal regularly sent Hillary Clinton “vaguely sourced” “intelligence cable style” briefings while she was Secretary of State. The Guardian was the first to publish Shearers’ involvement with what is being described as a second anti-Trump dossier. Grassley and Graham filed the criminal referral on Steele after comparing information given to the committee from the FBI to Steele’s own statements. “As explained in greater detail below, when information in those classified documents is evaluated in light of sworn statements by Mr. Steele in British litigation, it appears that either Mr. Steele lied to the FBI or the British court, or that the classified documents reviewed by the Committee contain materially false statements,” the criminal referral states.



BREAKING: Lawmakers Make Criminal Referral on Clinton, Comey, Lynch to DOJ on Steele Dossier
Sara A Carter

URL: https://saraacarter.com/breaking-lawmak ... e-dossier/
Category: Politics
Published: April 18, 2018

Description: Obama officials and FBI embattled agents also targeted for possible violations of federal law
Congressional lawmakers made a criminal referral Wednesday to the Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions against former senior-level Obama administration officials, including employees of the FBI connected with the unverified dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as those involved in the warrants used to spy on a former Trump campaign volunteer, this reporter has learned. The lawmakers also made a criminal referral on former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and threats made by her DOJ against the FBI informant, who provided the bureau with information on the Russian nuclear industry and the approval in 2010 to sell roughly 20 percent of American uranium mining assets to Russia. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, along with nine other colleagues sent the letter Wednesday to Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray criminally referring former FBI Director James Comey, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for their involvement in the investigations into President Trump and alleged violations of federal law. FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text messages obtained by the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, were also included in the referral. “We write to refer the following individuals for investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes,” states the letter obtained by this reporter. “In doing so, we are especially mindful of the dissimilar degrees of zealousness that has marked the investigations into Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, respectively. Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately.” The criminal referral also raises significant concerns regarding the Steele dossier, and the “presentation of false and/or unverified information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in connection with the former Trump aide Carter Page warrant application to conduct surveillance through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).” Page worked as a volunteer advisor for the Trump campaign and the information in the dossier was used in bulk by the FBI to obtain the warrants to spy on him. “Accordingly, we refer to DOJ all DOJ and FBI personnel responsible for signing the Carter Page warrant application that contained unverified and/or false information for possible violation(s) of 18 USC 242 and 18 USC 1505 and 1515b,” the criminal referral states. It refers to a letter drafted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to Sessions this March. The lawmakers noted that Comey “engaged in questionable conduct vis-à-vis President Donald Trump,” and referred to an article reported by The New York Times, in May 2017, which highlighted memos leaked by Comey to a friend that was given to the paper. In the criminal referral letter, the lawmakers state that “Comey wrote memoranda detailing alleged conversations between himself and President Trump, creating ‘a paper trail’ for ‘documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation.’ The New York Times article reports that Comey “created similar memos – including some that are classified – about every phone call and meeting he had with the president,” the letter states. The criminal referral also notes a Jan. 3, 2018, letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Charles Grassley, where committee staff reviewed the memoranda created by Comey in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility due to the classified nature of the majority of the memos; of the seven memos, four were marked classified at the “SECRET” or “CONFIDENTIAL” levels. Comey, whose book A Higher Loyalty, released this week, argued that his memos were personal reflections about his meetings and conversations with Trump, but admitted that some contained classified material. According to FBI policy, however, the bureau forbids any agent from releasing classified information regarding ongoing investigations or sensitive operations without prior written permission. The bureau also mandates that all records created during official duties are considered to be government property. “In light of the fact that four of the seven memos were classified, it would appear that former Director Comey leaked classified information when sharing these memos with Professor Richman. Accordingly, we refer James Comey to DOJ for potential violation(s) of 18 USC 641, 18 USC 793, and 18 USC 1924(a),” the letter states. The congressional members also are referring former presidential candidate Clinton for her role in the dossier, assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by cutout embattled research firm Fusion GPS. After months of investigations by Congress, it was eventually discovered that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee. However, the campaign did not reveal that they had allocated money to pay for the research on their disclosure forms, according to congressional members and news reports. “A lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid Washington firm Fusion GPS to conduct research that led to the Steele dossier, according to an October 24, 2017, report in The Washington Post,” the letter states. ” Accordingly, for disguising payments to Fusion GPS on mandatory disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, we refer Hillary Clinton to DOJ for potential violation(s) of 52 USC 30121 and 52 USC 30101.” Lynch was referred after concerns were made regarding her decision to threaten with reprisal the former FBI informant, William Douglas Campbell, who first came forward in 2016 with insight into the sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One, which controlled nearly 20 percent of U.S. uranium mining interests in the United States, as previously reported. Campbell had filed a lawsuit in Maryland federal court in 2016 against the Russian companies he was employed with and which he had kept tabs on for the FBI. He was asking for the return of the money he had to launder out of his own paychecks and had sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the DOJ for information on his case. After the DOJ received the FOIA request and the lawsuit was filed, his lawyers were advised by personnel from the Justice Department that prosecutors in the Fraud Section of the Justice Department under Lynch, demanded the withdrawal the lawsuit. According to a letter written by Campbell’s previous attorney, the DOJ threatened to destroy Campbell’s reputation and prosecute him for violating a non-disclosure agreement he had signed with the FBI. The criminal referral on Lynch is investigating her for “potential violation(s) of 18 USC 1505 and 1515b,” according to the letter. As for Strzok and Page, the two FBI employees at the center of the Congressional investigations, the lawmakers seek the criminal referral based on the pairs “interference in the Hillary Clinton investigation regarding her use of a personal email server,” as reported. The lawmakers point to a Jan. 22, The Wall Street Journal article regarding the Justice Department’s second release of text exchanges between Strzok and Page, and revealed that the texts “show the FBI also eliminated evidence that Mrs. Clinton compromised high-level communications.” “The report provides the following alarming specifics, among others: ‘Mr. Strzok texts Ms. Page to tell her that, in fact, senior officials had decided to water down the reference to President Obama to ‘another senior government official,” the criminal referral states referring to the article. Other recent documents obtained by congressional investigators also suggest possible coordination by Obama White House officials, the CIA and the FBI into the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign. According to those documents, the senior Obama officials used unsubstantiated evidence to launch allegations in the media that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. The documents also reveal that former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, sent a letter on Aug. 29, 2016, asking former FBI Director James Comey to investigate the allegations, which were presented to him by then CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan had briefed Reid privately days earlier on the counterintelligence investigation and documents suggest Reid was also staying in close touch with Comey over the issues, as reported.
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The Russians Colluded Massively — with Democrats

Postby smix » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:58 am

The Russians Colluded Massively — with Democrats
National Review

URL: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/ ... democrats/
Category: Politics
Published: February 24, 2018

Description: Mueller scours Team Trump for Russian collusion as Dems marinate in it
Special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigators resemble axe-wielding firefighters frantically stomping through a house and not finding so much as a lit birthday candle. Meanwhile, the home next door burns to the basement. Team Mueller’s never-ending hunt for reds in October 2016 has found zero evidence of Russian collusion among Team Trump. In contrast, Russian collusion among Democrats has been as hard to miss as a California wildfire. And yet they still miss it. Team Mueller did find Russian interference in the 2016 election — and how! The February 16 announcement of federal criminal indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies was a Cold War flashback. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told journalists that Russians close to the Kremlin infiltrated the last presidential campaign “to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy.” But Rosenstein threw a bucket of wet sand onto the Left’s simmering narrative that DJT = KGB. The Russian meddling began in 2014, well before Donald J. Trump’s campaign commenced. The Russians promoted Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’s Democratic-primary bid and Green-party nominee Jill Stein’s general-election effort. After Trump won, the Russians organized pro-Trump and anti-Trump demonstrations, once in New York City on the same day. They also staged an anti-Trump rally in Charlotte. Furthermore, Rosenstein said, “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity.” Thus far, anyone on Team Trump who might have worked with Russians did so after being hoodwinked, not due to treason — as Democrats have shouted for more than a year. Also, none of this should comfort Hillary Clinton. Rosenstein said: “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.” So, rather than blame Russia for her epic fail, Hillary finally should concede that she lost a mismanaged campaign that barely visited Michigan and avoided Wisconsin as if it had been quarantined. Throughout these events, the president of the United States was not Donald Trump. It was Barack Obama. He appears to have done little to nothing about this Russian penetration of America’s contest for the White House, other than to tell Putin to “cut it out” at a September 2016 meeting in China. Meanwhile, as if to bury the illusory Russia–Trump nexus even further, a February 7 U.S.-led coalition airstrike on pro-Assad “mercenaries” in eastern Syria killed “several dozen” Russians, Moscow admitted. Sending Russians home in boxes is hardly what one would expect from Vladimir Putin’s “puppet” in Washington, no matter how much Joy Behar and Rachel Maddow huff and puff to the contrary. In short, there is not enough proof of Russian collusion by Trump to fuel a stovetop pilot light. In contrast, the evidence of Democratic collusion with Russia blazes on, even as Team Mueller ignores it.
* The Obama administration’s Russian Reset began in Geneva on March 6, 2009. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton huddled with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, and together they pressed a red button that should have been labeled “Reset” in Russian. Instead, Hillary’s aides had mislabeled it with the Russian word for “Overload.” Regardless, once pushed, the button symbolized a red dawn of increasingly cozy U.S.–Russian affairs.
* Obama announced on September 17, 2009, that he would cancel President George W. Bush’s plan to station missile-defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. “This is a U-turn in U.S. policy,” complained former Czech ambassador to Washington Alexander Vondra. “Russia had furiously opposed the project, claiming it targeted Moscow’s nuclear arsenal,” added Luke Harding and Ian Traynor of London’s Guardian. “Obama’s climb-down is likely to be seen by Russia as a victory.” Indeed, Vladimir Putin applauded Obama’s strategic abandonment of the Poles and Czechs. The Russian strongman said: “I do anticipate that this correct and brave decision will be followed by others.” Putin soon savored more first-class service on the Russian Collusion Express. Barely a month after shafting Poland and the Czech Republic, Team Obama began to ply Putin with planes. To that end, Hillary jetted to Moscow on October 13, 2009. “We’re delighted that a new Russian airline, Rosavia, is actively considering the acquisition of Boeing aircraft,” Clinton declared at Moscow’s Boeing Design Center. “The Ex-Im Bank would welcome an application for financing from Rosavia to support its purchase of Boeing aircraft.” Three days later, the Washington Post reports, “Boeing formally submitted its bid for the Russian deal.” On June 1, 2010, the Kremlin-owned Rostekhnologii company — now Rostec — decided to purchase up to 50 Boeing 737s for Russia’s national airline, Aeroflot. Price: $3.7 billion. That August 17, just ten weeks later, Boeing unveiled a $900,000 gift to the Clinton Foundation to “help support the reconstruction of Haiti’s public education system” after an earthquake had pulverized that destitute island the previous January.
* Hillary also promoted Skolkovo, an “innovation city” near Moscow, backed by Kremlin seed rubles worth some $5 billion. “At a long meeting I had with [Russia’s then-president Dimitry] Medvedev outside Moscow in October 2009, he raised his plan to build a high-tech corridor in Russia modeled after our own Silicon Valley,” Hillary explained. “I suggested that he visit the original in California,” she added. Hillary’s State Department arranged for 22 leading U.S. venture capitalists to tour Skolkovo in May 2010. Medvedev, in turn, traversed Silicon Valley the next month. State persuaded Cisco, Google, and Intel, among others, to join Skolkovo. By 2012, the project boasted 28 “Key Partners” in America, Europe, and Russia. Three-fifths of these organizations donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid Bill Clinton speaking fees. From Russia with Money, an August 2016 paper by the Government Accountability Institute, reported that 17 “Key Partners” contributed between $6.5 million and $23.5 million to the Clinton Foundation. But by 2013, the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program warned: “Skolkovo is arguably an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage.” Boston-based FBI agent Lucia Ziobro concluded in 2014, “The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.”
* While visiting Moscow on March 24, 2010, Hillary justified these actions: “Our goal is to help strengthen Russia.” She said this to First Channel TV host Vladimir Pozner, a Soviet-era relic who still communicates in barely accented English — just as he did when he tried to sell Western audiences on the joys of Communism.
* Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, announced plans on June 8, 2010, to buy a 51.4 percent stake in Uranium One — a Canadian company whose international assets included some 20 percent of America’s reserves of the active ingredient in atomic reactors and nuclear weapons. This $1.3 billion purchase of a strategic-commodity company required the approval of the mysterious Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Hillary was one of nine federal-agency chiefs on CFIUS (pronounced SIPH-ee-us). Three weeks later, Bill Clinton keynoted a Moscow conference staged by a Kremlin-tied investment bank that promoted Uranium One’s acquisition. Renaissance Capital paid Clinton $500,000 for his one-hour speech that June 29. CFIUS’s evaluation of Rosatom’s offer, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer observed, coincided with “a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One.” Then-chairman Ian Telfer gave the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative $3.1 million. Founder Frank Giustra gave the Clinton Foundation $131.3 million. Before, during, and after CFIUS’s review, Schweizer calculates, “shareholders involved in this transaction had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives.” Leading congressional Republicans rebelled. “We believe that this potential takeover of U.S. nuclear resources by a Russian government–owned agency would pose great potential harm to the national security of the United States,” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, then the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote CFIUS’s then-chairman, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The top Republicans on the Financial Services, Homeland Security, and Armed Services Committees also signed Ros-Lehtinen’s October 5, 2010, letter, which beseeched CFIUS to “block the sale.” As a CFIUS member, the ever-voluble Hillary could have heeded this red alert and stopped Putin from controlling a fifth of U.S. uranium supplies. No such luck. Eighteen days after the GOP’s admonition, CFIUS let Rosatom purchase a majority stake in Uranium One. Subsequent investments pushed the Kremlin’s share of Uranium One to 100 percent by January 2013. Soon after taking total control of Uranium One, Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko crowed: “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves.”
* Obama clearly signaled the Kremlin that the Russian collusion would continue in his second term. At a March 26, 2012, meeting in Seoul, South Korea, an open microphone captured his conversation with Medvedev, which neither knew was being recorded. Obama asked for Russia’s patience, “particularly with missile defense.” Obama added: “This is my last election. . . . After my election, I have more flexibility.” Medvedev replied: “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
* Obama got Moscow to rescue him from his Syrian “red line” fiasco. Obama boasted in August 2012 that “a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” On August 21, 2013, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad struck rebel-controlled Ghouta with sarin nerve gas, killing hundreds of civilians, including boys and girls. The whole world was watching as Obama did nothing, even after Assad clearly poisoned his way across that red line. Then–secretary of state John Kerry generated titters that September 8 when he said that America might ruffle Assad with “unbelievably small” air strikes. Kerry also said that day in London that Assad should surrender his chemical weapons and “allow a full and total accounting for that.” Moscow loved the concept. “Within an hour, an hour and a half,” Kerry said, “I got a phone call from Sergei Lavrov of Russia suggesting that was a really good idea.” By mid-September, the U.S. and Russia agreed that Assad would remain untouched, and Syria would sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and yield its toxins. While doves defended this display of diplomacy and disarmament over resolve and force, this policy certainly increased Russia’s global prestige and regional influence. But ultimately this agreement proved hollow when Assad yet again unleashed chemical weapons on his people last April, killing some 100 civilians. In response, President Trump finally enforced Obama’s red line by raining 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Shayrat airfield, whence Assad had perpetrated that chemical assault.
* Republican senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina drafted a January 4 criminal referral against former British spy Christopher Steele. “According to the law firm Perkins Coie,” Grassley and Graham wrote, in June 2016, “Mr. Steele’s dossier-related efforts were funded through Fusion GPS by that law firm on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign.” Steele’s work scored him $160,000. Grassley and Graham note: “On the face of the dossier, it appears that Mr. Steele gathered much of his information from Russian government sources inside Russia.” (Emphasis added.) The contents of this “salacious and unproven” dossier (in former FBI chief James Comey’s words) wound up triggering a questionable wiretap on former Trump adviser Carter Page and filling newspapers and broadcasts with anti-Trump propaganda.
So, the relentless, fruitless quest for Russian collusion among Team Trump instead finds it alive and well among Team Clinton — and as tough to detect as a May Day march through Red Square. If Special Counsel Robert Mueller sincerely wishes to expose Russian collusion in general, rather than search in vain for the Republican strain of this virus, he should scrutinize the other side of the aisle. Democrats colluded with Russia from 2009 to at least 2016. If Mueller has no idea where to look, he might start by connecting the nine dots that appear above.
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The Russia Collusion Suspect Nobody’s Talking About: CrowdStrike’s Dmitri Alperovitch

Postby smix » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:31 pm

The Russia Collusion Suspect Nobody’s Talking About: CrowdStrike’s Dmitri Alperovitch
The New American

URL: https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/p ... lperovitch
Category: Politics
Published: February 28, 2018

Description: Dmitri Alperovitch has played a key role in diverting attention from Hillary Clinton's documented unethical, illegal, and treasonous activities with Putin to allegations of ties between Donald Trump and Putin, for which no evidence has been forthcoming. Is Alperovitch, in reality, one of Putin's best deep-cover agents?

dmitri-alperovitch.jpg

Before the WikiLeaks announcement in 2016 that it would be releasing thousands of e-mails from the Democratic National Committee, few Americans had heard of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike or Dmitri Alperovitch (shown), its Russian-Ukranian cofounder and chief technology officer. He is still far from being a household name, but he remains a central figure in the ongoing “Trump-Russia collusion” investigations by Senate and House committees and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That WikiLeaks announcement, by the whistleblowing organization’s spokesman Julian Assange, came on June 12, a little over a month before the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The Hillary Clinton campaign, still facing an insurgency from staunch Bernie Sanders supporters, was thrown into a panic. The WikiLeaks release was seen as something that could seriously sabotage her march to the White House. Clinton and her Democratic National Committee allies — which appear to have included virtually all the top-tier DNC officials — decided the best defense would be an aggressive offense. They would make a pre-emptive damage-control strike to shift media and public attention away from the content of the e-mails (which they knew would be damning) to the provenance of the e-mails. They would divert the focus away from the embarrassing, unethical, and illegal actions revealed in the e-mails to how they were obtained and by whom. As mentioned above, the WikiLeaks announcement came on June 12. Two days later, on June 14, DNC contractor CrowdStrike announced (via the Washington Post) that its forensic analysis of the DNC server had determined malware had been injected into the server — and it had been done by Russians. Not just any Russians, mind you, but agents of Vladimir Putin. Alperovitch and CrowdStrike’s Shawn Henry (a former FBI executive under Director Robert Mueller and President Obama) told the Post that their investigation revealed the DNC server had been hacked by the cyber-espionage groups known as “Fancy Bear,” allegedly associated with the Russian GRU (military intelligence) and “Cozy Bear,” allegedly associated with the FSB (the successor to the infamous Soviet KGB). The following day, on June 15, the “Russian hacking” narrative was reinforced by “Guccifer 2.0,” an anonymous Internet persona, who claimed that the forensics of the DNC server showed it had been tainted with “Russian fingerprints.” Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta, along with their DNC auxiliaries, immediately launched their brazen Russia-bashing program, claiming that Putin was interfering in our presidential election to keep her out of the White House and put his “puppet,” Donald Trump, into the Oval Office. It was precisely the kind of audacious response one would expect from Podesta, who earned notoriety as a shrewd and ruthless political operative while serving as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. In that post, he proved his worth as the master of damage control, handling Bill Clinton’s scandals du jour cavalcade: Chinagate, Troopergate, Coffeegate, Bimbogate, etc. Besides diverting attention from the e-mails released by WikiLeaks, the Russia-Trump collusion accusations served other purposes as well. Certainly among the foremost of those purposes was that accusing Trump of colluding with Russia would bolster Hillary’s image as an anti-Putin hardliner. This was not only a move calculated to counter Hillary’s and the Democrats’ images as historically “soft on communism” and “soft on national security/national defense,” but calculated also to serve as a sort of immunity against investigation and prosecution of Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and many others in their circle for their own well-documented corrupt, illegal, and treasonous dealings with Putin and Russia, which we have reported on extensively over many years (see here, here, and here, for example). However, the “Trump-Russia collusion” meme would not have taken hold and could not have continued causing the political distraction and upheaval more than a year into the Trump administration simply on the strength of Clinton, Podesta, and the DNC. The ongoing campaign against President Trump has only remained viable because of the continuous support and connivance of Deep State operatives in the intelligence community and the major media. This connivance was apparent from the start, when the DNC and CrowdStrike refused to allow official analysts from the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other agencies to examine the DNC server that was supposedly hacked by the Russians. One might expect that, in response, the “rebuffed” intelligence and law-enforcement agencies would refrain from endorsing the conclusions of a report that was obviously serving a partisan political purpose and that was based on evidence that they had not seen, because it had been purposely withheld from them. But no, the politically appointed intel chiefs lined up to parrot the Clinton/DNC/CrowdStrike line that Putin had interfered in the U.S. presidential election to torpedo Hillary Clinton and aid Donald Trump.
Phony “Fingerprints,” Phony “Hack”
Like the phony “Russia dossier” on Trump produced by Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS for Hillary Clinton and the DNC, the CrowdStrike “analysis” quickly came unraveled under expert examination. Among the many authoritative refutations of CrowdStrike’s claims are an early analysis by former top IBM executive Skip Folden, entitled “Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge” and “Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence" by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). The VIPS study, led by the legendary Dr. William Binney, a former technical director at the NSA, also benefitted from the input of VIPS members who were cybersecurity experts with the NSA, CIA, DIA, FBI, and military intelligence. Among their most important finds are these two critical points:
1) The claimed “Russian fingerprints” provide no trace routing to prove that any “hacking” was done by Russian intelligence operatives. The software and methods allegedly used are commonly available and commonly used by many private individuals, criminal syndicates, and state actors. Moreover, the “Russian” traces are so crude as to be obvious plants pointing to the Russians, whereas, if Putin’s cyberspooks had actually done it, they would have done a more professional job of covering their tracks, the experts say, and;
2) The “hack” of the DNC was actually a leak, not a hack. The technical analysis of the security breach shows that the DNC e-mails were copied onto a USB device, such as a thumb drive, by someone physically at the DNC headquarters, not downloaded via a remote connection on the Internet. Thus it was a leak by someone at the DNC, not Russian hackers, who provided the data to WikiLeaks. That’s not an insignificant distinction!
In addition to the Folden and VIPS reports, other top-grade technical experts who have challenged and discredited the faux “intelligence community consensus” on the DNC hacking include:
* Mark Maunder, CEO of cybersecurity firm Wordfence;
* Rob Graham, CEO of Errata Security;
* Robert M. Lee, CEO of the security company Dragos;
* Gregory Copley, president of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA); and
* Jeffrey Carr, principal consultant for 20KLeague.com, founder of Suits and Spooks, author of Inside Cyber Warfare, and a lecturer at the Army War College and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
In short, what we have is very credible technical analysis that challenges the claim of “Russian hacking” vs. a Clinton-DNC contractor who has a motive to produce a scenario that his employer is demanding. We also have the unexplained refusal of the Clinton-DNC “victims” to provide the evidence of the supposed crime to law-enforcement and intelligence authorities. Finally, and most suspiciously, we have the intelligence community (IC) that fails to demand seeing the evidence before endorsing the DNC/CrowdStrike verdict — a verdict that is obviously politically expedient. In addition to the technical forensic analysis that discredits the “Russian hacking” charges, we also have the claims of two WikiLeaks principals involved in the DNC e-mail breach who insist that the data was obtained via an inside leak, not a Russian Hack. WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange has repeatedly and emphatically stated that neither Russia nor anyone associated with Russia had anything to do with providing WikiLeaks with the DNC e-mails. For many people, however, Assange’s denials are barely more credible than those of Vladimir Putin himself, even though Assange and WikiLeaks have — time after time — reliably delivered precisely what they promised and have been non-partisan, exposing wrongdoing regardless of the wrongdoers’ political affiliations. Assange is not alone, though, in denying a Russian source connection. Craig Murray, the human-rights whistleblower and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, has said in interviews with two British newspapers, The Guardian and Daily Mail Online, that he personally flew to Washington, D.C., and met with the DNC employee who provided him with the DNC e-mails to give to WikiLeaks. “I’ve met the person who leaked them,” Murray told The Guardian, “and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack.” Ambassador Murray’s career has shown him to be a credible witness, as well as heroically courageous. In exposing the brutal communist dictatorship of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, he also stood up to the British Foreign Office, which was covering for Karimov, and in so doing, sacrificed his diplomatic career and drew down on himself a vicious campaign of character assassination aimed at destroying his reputation. Thus, we have highly credible technical analysis that asserts the DNC e-mails were obtained by leak, not hack, and we have a credible witness/participant who testifies that he received the DNC data from a DNC “insider” and delivered them to WikiLeaks.
Who is Dmitri Alperovitch?
Who is Dmitri Alperovitch, and why is his highly suspect CrowdStrike analysis accepted as gospel by the DNC, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the IC, and the IC-tainted Big Media “Mockingbirds”? Dmitri Alperovitch was born in Moscow in 1980, which is to say, during the latter years of the Soviet Union. There seem to be large gaps in his curriculum vitae concerning his life before emigrating to the U.S., making his background somewhat mysterious, which, some might think, would be problematical for someone who is reputed to be a top go-to guy on cyber security. But it certainly doesn’t seem to be problematic for major investors such as CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), which led a $100 million capital drive for CrowdStrike in 2015. By May of 2017, Business Insider reported, Alperovitch’s startup had attracted over $256 million and its stock was valued at just under $1 billion. Billionaire Eric Schmidt, the longtime CEO of Google (and its parent company, Alphabet, Inc.) is, of course, a big-time DNC donor, and was a major supporter of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as were many other Google executives. Schmidt was a principal investor in The Groundwork, a start-up tech company formed to assist Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Besides Google, CrowdStrike has benefitted from cash infusions from Warburg Pincus, Accel Partners, Telstra, and March Capital Partners. Just as interesting as Alperovitch’s apparent Midas touch is his cachet with the elite media and the great and the good of the globalist one-world set. He has been the subject of flattering profiles at Esquire, Fortune, Politico, the Washington Post, NPR, CNBC, and many other media herd venues. He is also featured as an anointed expert at such exclusive insider assemblages as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the World Economic Forum, the Aspen Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Atlantic Council (where he is a senior fellow), and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University (where he is also a senior fellow). All of the above organizations — most especially the CFR — have longstanding, troubling ties to the Deep State intelligence services. Notwithstanding Alperovitch’s many elitist ties listed above, it is his connections to the Atlantic Council that are especially noteworthy, as they illustrate the extensive and dangerous interconnectedness of these private globalist organizations with think tanks, major corporations, intelligence agencies, national governments, the United Nations, and other intergovernmental organizations. These private globalist organizations form the top level of the pyramid of power of the state-within-the-state — the Deep State — and they consider themselves above the rule of law and all that stuff meant for lower mortals. The Atlantic Council is subsidized by taxpayers through its government-related funding partners, which include the U.S. State Department; the European Union; the European Investment Bank; NATO; and the governments of Norway, Sweden, Japan, Finland, Lithuania, South Korea, Cyprus, Latvia, and Slovakia; among others. The Atlantic Council’s corporate sponsors include JPMorgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Bank of America, Airbus, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Ford, Saab, Zurich, Walmart Stores, Inc., Lockheed Martin, 21st Century Fox, Arab Bank, Boeing, CIGNA Corporation, Coca-Cola Company, Raytheon, Pfizer, and many others. Besides the Rockefeller and Soros foundations, the Atlantic Council also receives generous handouts from the usual establishment tax-exempt foundations that fund globalist and leftwing causes. The Atlantic Council’s website tells us, “In 1961, former Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Christian Herter, with Will Clayton, William Foster, Theodore Achilles and other distinguished Americans, recommended the consolidation of the U.S. citizens groups supporting the Atlantic Alliance into the Atlantic Council of the United States.” What the Atlantic Council’s website doesn’t mention is that all of these founders were also leading members of the CFR, the principal organization pushing for world government and the annihilation of national sovereignty for most of the past century. Virtually all of the individuals populating the Atlantic Council’s historical roster of its current and past chairmen, presidents, and directors are/were also prominent CFR members. The Atlantic Council represents and projects the CFR globalist agenda on a multitude of political and economic issues, as, for instance, in its support for the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnersip), the UN Climate treaty, increased Muslim migration into Europe, expanded EU control over its member states, expanded funding and powers for the United Nations and NATO, and much more. The Atlantic Council is a staunch opponent of the Brexit, President Donald Trump, nationalist-populist movements, and the burgeoning independent media. It is the Atlantic Council’s involvement in launching an insidious campaign to stamp out the growing Internet-based independent media that is our main concern here, and the area where Dmitri Alperovitch appears to be a central character. A key instrument in that effort is a group of anonymous national security and cybersecurity “experts” who claim to be fighting Russian propaganda in the alternative media. The group, which goes by the name “Is It Propaganda Or Not?” or "PropOrNot" (www.propornot.com), joined up with Snopes, Politifact, Fake News Watch, Fort Liberty Hoax Sites, and other left-leaning groups to attack conservative and libertarian news sites. It has been boosted in this treacherous attack on the First Amendment by the Washington Post, the New Republic, and other members of the Fourth Estate with deep ties to the Deep State. This danger has been amplified by the efforts of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech giants to censor politically incorrect speech on the Internet. We first wrote about PropOrNot in a December 2016 article, “FAKE NEWS: Media Hysteria Over Irrelevant Fake Websites Masks More Sinister Agenda.” In a forthcoming article, we will be examining the threat to our freedom of speech posed by the PropOrNot-Deep State complex and the roles of Alperovitch, CrowdStrike, Google, CFR-Atlantic Council, and the “intelligence community” in that ongoing dangerous attack on liberty.
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McCabe and a Lower Loyalty

Postby smix » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:09 am

McCabe and a Lower Loyalty
The Wall Street Journal

URL: https://www.wsj.com/articles/mccabe-and ... 1523660629
Category: Politics
Published: April 13, 2018

Description: The IG report explains why the former FBI deputy director was fired.
Apparently Jim Comey’s FBI had in its leadership an official even more self-serving than the director. His name is Andrew McCabe, and a report released Friday from the Justice Department’s inspector general confirms that Mr. McCabe was fired for leaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter to “advance his personal reputation at the expense of Department leadership”—and then lying about it. The IG report contradicts the accounts put forward by Mr. McCabe and his wife, Jill, at the time he was sacked on March 16. In separate op-eds for the Washington Post, Andrew McCabe and Jill McCabe each played the Trump victim card. Mr. McCabe said that “divisive politics and partisan attacks” played a role in his firing. Dr. McCabe blamed “the president’s wrath.” The IG report makes clear that Mr. McCabe was fired for good reason: because he leaked information to the press, and then he denied it to investigators. The IG concludes he was guilty of “lack of candor” multiple times, sometimes with a lawyer present, and at least three times under oath. And though he would later change his story, he did so only when he knew the IG was closing in on the truth. The IG says Mr. McCabe even lied to and about Mr. Comey, who was then FBI director. He lied to him when he denied knowing who had leaked the information about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation the director had refused to confirm even to Congress. And Mr. McCabe lied when he told investigators he had told Mr. Comey what he had done. For a man who claims to be all about the bureau, perhaps the IG’s most damning line is the one noting that “no other senior FBI official corroborated McCabe’s testimony that, among FBI executive leadership, ‘people knew that generally’ he had authorized the disclosure.” The Journal reporter had asked about reports saying Mr. McCabe had given agents a “stand down” order regarding an investigation of the Clinton Foundation. To rebut that, Mr. McCabe authorized a leak of a phone conversation in which Mr. McCabe plays the hero by pushing back when a high-ranking Justice Department official complained that New York FBI agents were still looking into the Clinton Foundation. Mr. McCabe continues to say he wasn’t lying, that he simply “misspoke” about authorizing the leak because he hadn’t thought about the Journal article in “quite a long time.” When he called the IG’s office in August 2017 to correct his testimony, he said that “on further recollection, yeah, I remember authorizing” the leak. We’d have some sympathy for that defense if the FBI offered the same to its civilian targets. That understanding wasn’t extended to Michael Flynn, the former Trump National Security Adviser squeezed into pleading guilty for lying to the FBI when even the agents who interviewed him thought he was telling the truth. Nor was it extended to former White House aide Scooter Libby, as a nearby editorial and op-ed explain. The IG report is thorough and detailed and should close the book on the reason for Mr. McCabe’s dismissal. But it does raise questions about Mr. Comey and the kind of FBI he was running. When Mr. McCabe was sacked last month following the FBI’s own recommendation, Mr. Comey tweeted that his former deputy had “stood tall” against those trying to “tear down an institution we all depend on.” In light of this new IG report, maybe Mr. Comey would like to revise his statement. Meanwhile, the IG continues to work on how Justice and the FBI handled the various Clinton and Russia investigations that Mr. McCabe presided over.



How Tony Podesta, a Washington Power Broker, Lost It All
The Wall Street Journal

URL: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-tony-p ... 1524065781
Category: Politics
Published: April 18, 2018

Description: The Democratic lobbyist had money, connections and a rarefied art collection. Then came a divorce, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump, and his world came crashing down
Tony Podesta was in line to be king of K Street. His lobbying firm ended 2015 as the third largest in Washington, D.C., with nearly $30 million in revenue from more than 100 clients, spanning Alphabet Inc.’s Google to Wells Fargo & Co. With his longtime friend Hillary Clinton expected to win the White House, 2016 promised to be even better. Mr. Podesta, a conspicuous presence in his red shoes and Italian suits, hosted lawmakers and power brokers at his flat in Venice during the Art Biennale. It was one of many homes around the globe, including the Washington mansion where he displayed a collection of museum-grade artwork. In early 2016, he was ready to buy a $7.4 million condo overlooking Madison Square Park in New York City. Then he fell, a calamitous collapse propelled by unexpected blows, delivered by fate and made worse by hubris. Financial problems, legal threats and the election of President Donald Trump took it all away—the clients, the firm and, finally, Mr. Podesta’s position as one of Washington’s most influential players. His troubles, some long hidden, surfaced in the summer of 2016. The Podesta Group lost its banker over news the firm did work for the U.S. subsidiary of a Russian bank under sanctions. Then came headlines that the firm’s work with Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, and an associate may have violated government rules. And in October, WikiLeaks published 20,000 pages of emails stolen from his brother John Podesta, chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign. The string of embarrassing news accounts disturbed many of the Podesta Group’s corporate clients, companies that preferred to stay clear of such publicity. Mr. Podesta operated as if the whole mess would soon blow over. He spent most of the fall traveling the world. He returned to the U.S. on Election Day but skipped Mrs. Clinton’s campaign party. Her victory would go a long way to fixing many of his problems. She lost that night, and Mr. Podesta, like many who had banked on her victory, did too. Clients who had hired him for access to a new Clinton administration fell away. By the end of the year, the departures cost the firm more than $10 million in annual business, according to an internal Podesta Group accounting viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Years of spending on art, vacations and real estate left Mr. Podesta overleveraged and deeply in debt when he finally closed the doors of his 62-person firm at the end of last year. He is selling his New York City condo, along with some of his prized sculptures. Mr. Podesta responded to questions through a spokeswoman for the Podesta Group. Mr. Podesta’s clients, colleagues, friends, and “even many of his political adversaries through the years continue to rely on his wise counsel,” the spokeswoman said. “When he stepped down from the firm he expressed his ongoing gratitude to all of them and his commitment to continue his advocacy for the issues and ideals he’s always fought for.” This account of Mr. Podesta’s rise and fall is based on interviews with dozens of former employees of his firm and his associates, as well as internal financial documents, calendars and communications viewed by the Journal.
Joining forces
Anthony Thomas Podesta, 74 years old, and his younger brother John grew up in Chicago, raised by first-generation parents from Italy and Greece. Their father, who didn’t finish high school, operated a cardboard-cutting machine in a factory that made advertising displays for grocery stores. The brothers gravitated to politics, working with Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham on the 1970 Senate campaign of a Democratic Party candidate in Connecticut. They moved to Washington, D.C., where the brothers attended law school at Georgetown University and then worked in government—John in the Justice Department, and Tony in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. They founded Podesta Associates, a lobbying firm, in 1987. John Podesta left in 1993 to work in the Clinton White House, later rising to chief of staff. Tony Podesta built up his lobbying firm over the years—renamed the Podesta Group in 2007—with such blue-chip clients as General Electric Co. , Boeing Co. and the Washington trade group for the U.S. drug industry. At age 59, he married Heather Miller, a congressional staffer 26 years younger. The April 2003 marriage was his second, her third. Mrs. Podesta started her own lobbying firm, Heather Podesta + Partners, and they emerged a Washington power couple. In 2006, they bought a $4 million home in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood and spent millions more renovating it to showcase their art collection. The Kalorama house—two doors from where the Obamas now live—was the crown jewel of Mr. Podesta’s real estate portfolio that over the years included apartments in New York City, the Venice flat, and houses in Sydney and Tasmania as well as on Lake Barcroft in Virginia. He owned a townhouse on Capitol Hill for entertaining and fundraising. Mr. Podesta drew an annual salary of more than $2 million and made millions more in commissions and bonuses. He and Heather Podesta together donated more money to the Democratic Party and its candidates than any other Washington lobbyists in the past decade, fundraising records show. The Podesta Group grew from the 20th largest lobbying firm to third in three years, in terms of domestic and foreign lobbying revenues, propelled by business during President Barack Obama’s first term. The leap was impressive, given competition from global giants that employed hundreds. During the Obama administration, the Podesta Group took in more than $40 million a year at its peak. The firm leased $200,000-a-month offices on two floors, joined by a custom spiral staircase. Mr. Podesta operated as a lifestyle concierge for clients. He had a regular table at Tosca, a popular Italian restaurant, and was part-owner of Centrolina, an Italian restaurant in a new billion-dollar development. The Podestas’ 1,300-piece art collection included photographs by Andreas Gursky, as well as eight sculptures by Louise Bourgeois valued at an estimated $25 million. The Podestas donated Shepard Fairey’s original “Hope” portrait of Mr. Obama to the National Portrait Gallery.

obama-hope.jpg

“Tony’s view of investment diversification is multiple artists,” Mrs. Podesta said in a 2004 Washington Post profile with the headline “Married with Art.” The Internal Revenue Service determined that in 2007 and 2008, the Podesta Group paid more than $300,000 for the shipping and handling of art bought by Mr. Podesta—money that was improperly reported as a business expense, according to documents viewed by the Journal. Later, Mr. Podesta began billing his firm $360,000 a year to rent pieces displayed at the office. The firm also paid part of the salary of Mr. Podesta’s art curator. Employees of the Podesta Group set up a system to prevent Mr. Podesta from being reimbursed by the company for personal expenditures. A 36-page instruction manual for Mr. Podesta’s executive assistants included this directive: “It is up to you and your best judgment as to what gets reimbursed.” Mr. Podesta’s passion for art drove a wedge in the marriage after Mrs. Podesta learned he was secretly making purchases, according to people familiar with the matter. In 2014, the couple filed for divorce, with the art collection caught in a legal tug of war. In the settlement, Mr. Podesta kept most of the collection. He gave up homes in Washington and Manhattan, and nearly $5 million in retirement savings. He agreed to pay his former wife $200,000 every three months for five years. The day the divorce was final in July 2014, Mr. Podesta took a loan from Citigroup Inc., using some of his art as collateral, public records show. That month, Mr. Podesta told senior employees the firm could make more money by agreeing to represent clients unpopular with Democrats, such as tobacco companies and the National Rifle Association. The discussion prompted one lobbyist to quit, costing the firm more than $2 million in yearly revenue from his former clients, according to public records and former employees. Firm employees approached Mr. Podesta in early 2014 about selling them a share of the business. The Podesta Group was worth at least $50 million at the time, former employees estimated. Over dinner, Mr. Podesta told them he was open to the idea and suggested they meet with lawyers. On the day of the meeting, employees gathered in the firm’s conference room. Mr. Podesta didn’t show. Mr. Podesta sought out higher-paying clients, including foreign governments, according to public disclosure reports. By 2015, the year after his divorce, Mr. Podesta had doubled his overseas business from four years earlier to $5 million. Firm clients included the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Iraq and the government of South Sudan, according to foreign-agent reports filed with the Justice Department. Mr. Podesta worked for some clients without his firm’s knowledge. In November 2015, he signed up the U.S. subsidiary of Pirelli, the Italian tire maker, for $113,500 a year, according to the contract. The Podesta Group had represented the U.S. operations of Michelin, the French tire manufacturer, since 2009. Neither Michelin nor its Podesta Group lobbyists knew about Mr. Podesta’s side deal, according to the people involved. “Mr. Podesta served on an international business council for Pirelli whose sole focus was advising on trends in regions and countries outside the United States,” the spokeswoman for the Podesta Group said. According to former employees, the Podesta Group did public relations work in 2015 for Raffaello Follieri, an Italian businessman who had pleaded guilty to swindling millions of dollars from an investment fund run partly by Mr. Clinton, one of Mr. Podesta’s early patrons. Mr. Podesta later joined the board of Mr. Follieri’s investment fund. During the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Podesta helped raise money for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, including a fundraising event at his Kalorama house, featuring food by well-known chefs. However deep his financial hole, a Clinton victory would relieve much of the pressure. Then came the summer of bad news. SunTrust Banks Inc. sought to sever ties with the firm over the sanctioned Russian bank. The Podesta Group’s chief executive sent an exasperated email to a colleague. “Tony thinks these types of clients have no repercussions on the firm,” she said, but “this should really provide evidence that we have to take the clients we bring on seriously.” Following Mrs. Clinton’s defeat that November, the Podesta Group cut bonuses and commissions. When employees returned to the office after the holidays they were greeted by a new art display Mr. Podesta had installed: “Shifting Degrees of Certainty.”
Deadlines
Early in 2012, Mr. Manafort and his associate Richard Gates, longtime Republican lobbyists, hired the Podesta Group and another firm to lobby on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a nonprofit. The Podesta Group registered as a domestic lobbyist for the Centre. Over the next two years, the Podesta Group was paid more than $1 million for its work, which would later prove to be costly. In April 2017, the Podesta Group filed a report with the Justice Department acknowledging its work “could be interpreted as principally benefiting a foreign government.” In his February guilty plea, Mr. Gates admitted he had arranged for the Centre to “represent falsely” that it wasn’t supervised by the Ukrainian government. Law-enforcement officials subpoenaed the Podesta Group and several of its lobbyists. Mr. Podesta offered to have the firm pay employees’ legal fees. As special counsel Robert Mueller dug into the Ukraine work, the string of headlines and ongoing federal probe chased off Podesta Group clients. Compounding the firm’s troubles, it lost the governments of Iraq, Vietnam and Kosovo in May and June, which, since 2012, had paid $6 million. At the end of May, Mr. Podesta moved into his new condo in New York City. Employees again approached Mr. Podesta about buying the firm. Over a three-hour dinner on Aug. 7, Mr. Podesta apologized for the pain he had caused them and said again that he would consider selling. By week’s end he was at the French beach town of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon for a vacation. Before dawn on Monday Oct. 23, 2017, NBC News reported that Mr. Mueller was preparing to indict Mr. Manafort and implicate Mr. Podesta regarding the Ukraine work. The phones started ringing: Clients wanted to know what was going on. The firm’s bank wanted to discuss its account. The following night, Mr. Podesta threw himself a birthday party, serving hundreds of guests pizza from a brick-oven stove in his backyard in Kalorama. On Friday that week, news outlets reported that Mr. Mueller’s first indictments would be unveiled Monday. Mr. Podesta talked with employees over the weekend. Some planned to quit and take their clients. On Saturday afternoon, he attended a surprise 70th birthday party for Mrs. Clinton. On Monday, Oct. 30, U.S. prosecutors announced the indictment of Messrs. Manafort and Gates. The indictment alleged the Podesta Group, identified as “Company B,” had worked with them for Ukraine. Mr. Podesta in a staff meeting said he would step back from the firm. The following day, an official with the firm’s new bank, Chain Bridge Bank, demanded $655,000 in cash or collateral within 24 hours—or it would cut the firm’s credit line. Mr. Trump, who occasionally pointed an unwelcome spotlight on the firm, tweeted that day: “The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm.” With clients leaving, the Podesta Group had no money. Rent was due the next day. One idea was to use Mr. Podesta’s art collection as collateral for a loan, but he refused. “At that time, it was inadvisable to provide additional guarantees as an individual for the obligations of the corporation,” the Podesta Group’s spokeswoman said. That night, Mr. Podesta ducked out to a birthday party for former Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who gave him a hug. “He did good quality work,” Mr. Barbour said. The Podesta Group’s chief financial officer sent Mr. Podesta a 7:23 p.m. email: “If we don’t have collateral pledged prior to 5pm tomorrow, we will be in default.” If the firm went into default, the CFO wrote, “we will not be able to meet our rent, your art payments, ad campaigns, and most importantly payroll.” Mr. Podesta responded: “need list of next 5 layoffs,” among other questions. The next day, he left for an art show in Turin, Italy. The bank’s deadline passed. By the end of the workweek, Wells Fargo, Walmart Inc., and Oracle Corp. had quit the Podesta Group. Some employees packed up personal items from their desks. On Friday, the firm’s CFO quit. That night, a senior manager sent an email to Mr. Podesta, still in Italy, saying the bank had frozen the firm’s funds. “This means that we have no way to pay employees,” the email said. “If we do not alert employees immediately that we have no way to pay them for their work, the firm is committing fraud.” In response, Mr. Podesta said he would call the bank. “At this point, there’s no money to meet payroll on the 15th so you should plan to have staff meeting on Monday to alert the staff,” the manager replied. Mr. Podesta responded from Italy that he was “not going into personal bankruptcy” to keep the firm afloat. On Wednesday the following week, movers began taking down Mr. Podesta’s art from the office walls. On Thursday evening, Kimberley Fritts, the firm’s chief executive, told the staff the Podesta Group was closing. Employees would get their last paycheck in six days. Health-care coverage would cease by year’s end. As Ms. Fritts broke the news, Mr. Podesta was in New York for the rollout of a fashion calendar published by Pirelli, his personal client. The two-day bash was capped by a black-tie dinner with Naomi Campbell, Sean “Diddy” Combs and other celebrities. Before closing the firm’s doors, Mr. Podesta gave himself an advance on his lobbying commissions.



FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe
The Wall Street Journal

URL: https://www.wsj.com/articles/laptop-may ... 1477854957
Category: Politics
Published: October 30, 2016

Description: Laptop may contain thousands of messages sent to or from Mrs. Clinton’s private server
The surprise disclosure that agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are taking a new look at Hillary Clinton’s email use lays bare, just days before the election, tensions inside the bureau and the Justice Department over how to investigate the Democratic presidential nominee. Investigators found 650,000 emails on a laptop that they believe was used by former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide, and underlying metadata suggests thousands of those messages could have been sent to or from the private server that Mrs. Clinton used while she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the matter. It will take weeks, at a minimum, to determine whether those messages are work-related from the time Ms. Abedin served with Mrs. Clinton at the State Department; how many are duplicates of emails already reviewed by the FBI; and whether they include either classified information or important new evidence in the Clinton email probe. Officials had to await a court order to begin reviewing the emails—which they received over the weekend, according to a person familiar with the matter—because they were uncovered in an unrelated probe of Mr. Weiner. The new investigative effort, disclosed by FBI Director James Comey on Friday, shows a bureau at times in sharp internal disagreement over matters related to the Clintons, and how to handle those matters fairly and carefully in the middle of a national election campaign. Even as the probe of Mrs. Clinton’s email use wound down in July, internal disagreements within the bureau and the Justice Department surrounding the Clintons’ family philanthropy heated up, according to people familiar with the matter. The latest development began in early October when New York-based FBI officials notified Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s second-in-command, that while investigating Mr. Weiner for possibly sending sexually charged messages to a teenage minor, they had recovered a laptop. Many of the 650,000 emails on the computer, they said, were from the accounts of Ms. Abedin, according to people familiar with the matter. Those emails stretched back years, these people said, and were on a laptop that hadn’t previously come up in the Clinton email probe. Ms. Abedin said in late August that the couple were separating. The FBI had searched the computer while looking for child pornography, people familiar with the matter said, but the warrant they used didn’t give them authority to search for matters related to Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement at the State Department. Mr. Weiner has denied sending explicit or indecent messages to the minor. In their initial review of the laptop, the metadata showed many messages, apparently in the thousands, that were either sent to or from the private email server at Mrs. Clinton’s home that had been the focus of so much investigative effort for the FBI. Senior FBI officials decided to let the Weiner investigators proceed with a closer examination of the metadata on the computer, and report back to them. At a meeting early last week of senior Justice Department and FBI officials, a member of the department’s senior national-security staff asked for an update on the Weiner laptop, the people familiar with the matter said. At that point, officials realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant, these people said. Mr. McCabe then instructed the email investigators to talk to the Weiner investigators and see whether the laptop’s contents could be relevant to the Clinton email probe, these people said. After the investigators spoke, the agents agreed it was potentially relevant. Mr. Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday, with explosive results. Senior Justice Department officials had warned the FBI that telling Congress would violate policies against overt actions that could affect an election, and some within the FBI have been unhappy at Mr. Comey’s repeated public statements on the probe, going back to his press conference on the subject in July. The back-and-forth reflects how the bureau is probing several matters related, directly or indirectly, to Mrs. Clinton and her inner circle. New details show that senior law-enforcement officials repeatedly voiced skepticism of the strength of the evidence in a bureau investigation of the Clinton Foundation, sought to condense what was at times a sprawling cross-country effort, and, according to some people familiar with the matter, told agents to limit their pursuit of the case. The probe of the foundation began more than a year ago to determine whether financial crimes or influence peddling occurred related to the charity. Some investigators grew frustrated, viewing FBI leadership as uninterested in probing the charity, these people said. Others involved disagreed sharply, defending FBI bosses and saying Mr. McCabe in particular was caught between an increasingly acrimonious fight for control between the Justice Department and FBI agents pursuing the Clinton Foundation case. It isn’t unusual for field agents to favor a more aggressive approach than supervisors and prosecutors think is merited. But the internal debates about the Clinton Foundation show the high stakes when such disagreements occur surrounding someone who is running for president. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, received $467,500 in campaign funds in late 2015 from the political-action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons and, until he was elected governor in November 2013, a Clinton Foundation board member. Mr. McAuliffe had supported Dr. McCabe in the hopes she and a handful of other Democrats might help win a majority in the state Senate. Dr. McCabe lost her race last November, and Democrats failed to win their majority. A spokesman for the governor has said that “any insinuation that his support was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous.” Dr. McCabe told the Journal, “Once I decided to run, my husband had no formal role in my campaign other than to be” supportive. In February of this year, Mr. McCabe ascended from the No. 3 position at the FBI to the deputy director post. When he assumed that role, officials say, he started overseeing the probe into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server for government work when she was secretary of state. FBI officials have said Mr. McCabe had no role in the Clinton email probe until he became deputy director, and by then his wife’s campaign was over. But other Clinton-related investigations were under way within the FBI, and they have been the subject of internal debate for months, according to people familiar with the matter. Early this year, four FBI field offices—New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Little Rock, Ark.—were collecting information about the Clinton Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or influence-peddling, according to people familiar with the matter. Los Angeles agents had picked up information about the Clinton Foundation from an unrelated public-corruption case and had issued some subpoenas for bank records related to the foundation, these people said. The Washington field office was probing financial relationships involving Mr. McAuliffe before he became a Clinton Foundation board member, these people said. Mr. McAuliffe has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer has said the probe is focused on whether he failed to register as an agent of a foreign entity. Clinton Foundation officials have long denied any wrongdoing, saying it is a well-run charity that has done immense good. The FBI field office in New York had done the most work on the Clinton Foundation case and received help from the FBI field office in Little Rock, the people familiar with the matter said. In February, FBI officials made a presentation to the Justice Department, according to these people. By all accounts, the meeting didn’t go well. Some said that is because the FBI didn’t present compelling evidence to justify more aggressive pursuit of the Clinton Foundation, and that the career anticorruption prosecutors in the room simply believed it wasn’t a very strong case. Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case. “That was one of the weirdest meetings I’ve ever been to,” one participant told others afterward, according to people familiar with the matter. Anticorruption prosecutors at the Justice Department told the FBI at the meeting they wouldn’t authorize more aggressive investigative techniques, such as subpoenas, formal witness interviews, or grand-jury activity. But the FBI officials believed they were well within their authority to pursue the leads and methods already under way, these people said. About a week after Mr. Comey’s July announcement that he was recommending against any prosecution in the Clinton email case, the FBI sought to refocus the Clinton Foundation probe, with Mr. McCabe deciding the FBI’s New York office would take the lead, with assistance from Little Rock. The Washington field office, FBI officials decided, would focus on a separate matter involving Mr. McAuliffe. Mr. McCabe had decided earlier in the spring that he would continue to recuse himself from that probe, given the governor’s contributions to his wife’s former political campaign. Within the FBI, the decision was viewed with skepticism by some, who felt the probe would be stronger if the foundation and McAuliffe matters were combined. Others, particularly Justice Department anticorruption prosecutors, felt that both probes were weak, based largely on publicly available information, and had found little that would merit expanded investigative authority. According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. Mr. McCabe said agents still had the authority to pursue the issue as long as they didn’t use overt methods requiring Justice Department approvals. The Justice Department official was “very pissed off,” according to one person close to Mr. McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant. Others said the Justice Department was simply trying to make sure FBI agents were following longstanding policy not to make overt investigative moves that could be seen as trying to influence an election. Those rules discourage investigators from making any such moves before a primary or general election, and, at a minimum, checking with anticorruption prosecutors before doing so. “Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” Mr. McCabe asked, according to people familiar with the conversation. After a pause, the official replied, “Of course not,” these people said. For Mr. McCabe’s defenders, the exchange showed how he was stuck between an FBI office eager to pour more resources into a case and Justice Department prosecutors who didn’t think much of the case, one person said. Those people said that following the call, Mr. McCabe reiterated past instructions to FBI agents that they were to keep pursuing the work within the authority they had. Others further down the FBI chain of command, however, said agents were given a much starker instruction on the case: “Stand down.” When agents questioned why they weren’t allowed to take more aggressive steps, they said they were told the order had come from the deputy director—Mr. McCabe. Others familiar with the matter deny Mr. McCabe or any other senior FBI official gave such a stand-down instruction. For agents who already felt uneasy about FBI leadership’s handling of the Clinton Foundation case, the moment only deepened their concerns, these people said. For those who felt the probe hadn’t yet found significant evidence of criminal conduct, the leadership’s approach was the right response. In September, agents on the foundation case asked to see the emails contained on nongovernment laptops that had been searched as part of the Clinton email case, but that request was rejected by prosecutors at the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn. Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information. Some FBI agents were dissatisfied with that answer, and asked for permission to make a similar request to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. McCabe, these people said, told them no and added that they couldn’t “go prosecutor-shopping.” Not long after that discussion, FBI agents informed the bureau’s leaders about the Weiner laptop, prompting Mr. Comey’s disclosure to Congress and setting off the furor that promises to consume the final days of a tumultuous campaign.
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Russiagate’s Damage To The Country Will Take Years To Realize

Postby smix » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:48 pm

Russiagate’s Damage To The Country Will Take Years To Realize
The Federalist

URL: https://thefederalist.com/2019/03/25/ru ... s-realize/
Category: Politics
Published: March 25, 2019

Description: The media and Democrat Party have dug themselves so deeply in a hole, they must keep on digging. That’s absolutely terrible for this country, as has been this entire endeavor.
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The probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller—appointed to investigate conspiracy theories that said President Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election—officially ended on Friday, March 22, 2019. “I don’t think it looks good… no further indictments,” said Bill Maher on his Saturday night HBO show. Maher tried to console himself. He repeated the brand-new incantation of the progressive faith: “I don’t need the Mueller report to know he’s a traitor, I have a T.V.” California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell quickly promised Maher that the Democrat chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff, would haul Mueller in front of Congress with a subpoena. Then, on Sunday, the contents of the report were released: No evidence of collusion was found between the Trump campaign and Russia. Leftwing media that had spent years pumping the conspiracy theory of Trump-Russia collusion made sure to add that the report “stops short of exonerating [Trump] for obstruction of justice.” Ergo, the report stays away from the patently ridiculous charge of obstruction, which would seek to politicize and decimate a president’s Article II powers. But Democrats are making sure to stress that investigations into Trump are ongoing—in Congress, and in the federal prosecutor’s office in the Southern District of New York. And CNN promised the “Mueller report is just the start of a new Russia showdown.” Millions of Americans have been led to believe that President Trump committed treason, and any day he could be led out of the White House in chains. They wake up every day thinking this could be the day that Mueller gets Trump. These poor souls should be facing a tough reality this weekend. But hold the Xanax, at least for now. The media and Democrat Party have dug themselves so deeply in a hole, they must keep on digging. That’s absolutely terrible for this country, as has been this entire endeavor.
Remember How We Got Here
If our country is ever to recover from this mess, we can’t forget how we got here. Russians were attempting to hack both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee in late 2015. Whether the DNC was ultimately hacked or suffered an internal leak, the truth remains that the DNC documents and emails obtained by WikiLeaks showed the entire country that Hillary Clinton, and those around her, were corrupt and would bend the rules (or worse) for power. There was never a real and fair contest between her and Bernie Sanders. As soon as the Clinton campaign realized its misdeeds toward Bernie had been made public, they blamed Russia. They immediately began putting out a narrative that attempted to say Russia had acted to favor Trump, which included paying Fusion GPS—a notorious propaganda outfit with ties to loads of so-called journalists—to create ties between Trump and Russia. Fusion GPS then hired a former British spy, Chris Steele, to boost their credibility. He used a different British guy with ties to the Kremlin, Edward Baumgartner, who employed unknown Russians to write a series of Word documents that alleged Trump-Russia collusion. Meanwhile, Clinton stooge Cody Shearer wrote other documents that alleged Trump-Russia collusion, and Clinton stooge Sidney Blumenthal disseminated those documents into the Obama State Department with the help of would-be Clinton administration secretary of state Victoria Nuland. The State Department people then gave those documents to the FBI. In short, the Hillary campaign peppered the Obama executive branch with allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. The Obama intelligence apparatus, pushed on by Obama’s Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, was only too happy to run with it. Jim Comey’s FBI then used those Word documents to get a warrant from a secret court to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide, which allowed the FBI to spy on the rival political party’s presidential campaign.
Coordinated with a Media Influence Operation
The FBI’s involvement allowed Fusion GPS and the journalists it was working with to put out all sorts of stories before the election, meant to damage Trump’s candidacy. These stories alleged that the ties between Trump and Russia were so serious, the FBI was investigating them. For example, CNN and others ran stories about the FBI looking into Trump because there was supposedly a computer in Trump Tower that was communicating with a Russian bank. When the FBI figured out that Steele and his boss at Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, were planting stories in the media, rules forced the FBI to discontinue ties with Steele. But they didn’t tell these things to the court used to get a secret warrant on the Trump campaign, and they continued to talk to Steele via Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department (DOJ) official whose wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS didn’t just use the Word docs it had created to push the narrative of Trump-Russia collusion. Before and after the election, there were all sorts of set-ups. In but one example, the Russians who met with Don Jr. in Trump tower, a meeting often cited as a supposed example of collusion, were working with Fusion GPS. Fusion’s Simpson met with the Russians present both before and after that meeting, and even supplied the materials that the Russians handed out at the meeting. In another example, Joseph Mifsud, the supposedly Kremlin-linked European who supposedly told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton, likely has ties to Western intelligence agencies. And the Aussie ambassador who relayed to “U.S. officials” what Papadopoulos said that Mifsud said, has ties to the Clinton foundation. Then there’s Stefan Halper—a sketchy man who was for some reason on the Pentagon payroll, and highly paid at that—who approached multiple Trump campaign people in 2016.
An All-Out Effort to Pre-Empt, then Undo, 2016
Once Trump won, all hell broke loose. There was talk of stopping him with the Electoral College, and protestors wrecked parts of DC. Obama’s deputy attorney general Sally Yates sent FBI agents to entrap Mike Flynn, at the time Trump’s national security advisor, using a 200-year-old law that is never enforced, unconstitutional, and routinely violated by every incoming presidential administration. The mainstream media was just as deranged. For the entire year of 2017, anything that could damage Trump, no matter how outlandish, was published. Journalistic standards collapsed. To MSNBC and CNN, every spurious and anonymously sourced report, which was always called a “bombshell,” was a sign that the “walls were closing in” on the Trump presidency. CNN famously reported on a Trump Jr. email, which could have shown collusion, until they realized they got the date of the email wrong. ABC News anchor Brian Ross produced a false report that caused the stock market to drop, and was eventually let go by ABC over the issue. These are but a few examples. It was in this Beltway hysteria that the Mueller investigation started. Trump fired Comey, because Comey was involved in the abuses of power that were occurring at the FBI. Among the things that were known to Trump at the time, this included a set-up of Reince Priebus, and appearing to threaten to investigate the president. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—who recommended Comey be fired—then appointed a special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia collusion. Much of the special counsel appointment was based on the false claim that Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired Comey to end the Russia investigation, when Trump in fact said the opposite. At the time, even many Republicans, especially in the Senate, supported Mueller’s appointment—which speaks volumes about who used to run the Republican Party. The only reason Rosenstein was in charge of the probe, and not former attorney general Jeff Sessions, is that Sessions was forced to recuse himself, supposedly because he met with the Russian ambassador in his capacity as a senator, and briefly at an event full of ambassadors. At least one of the DOJ lawyers who told Sessions he should recuse himself was involved in the effort to spy on Page and the Trump campaign. It would later be learned that FBI number two Andrew McCabe officially launched an investigation into Trump in retaliation for the firing of Comey, and because of foreign policy differences. There was no evidence whatsoever, aside from what was being peddled by Fusion GPS and which the FBI could not confirm, of any Trump-Russia collusion. We also learned that Rosenstein likely discussed ousting Trump with McCabe, and wearing a wire to get Trump on obstruction of justice. Even the instructions Rosenstein gave Mueller, when Rosenstein launched the special counsel’s probe, were improper and did not meet Department of Justice regulations. In the words of Federalist writer Adam Mill, they appeared to say, “here’s a list of people involved in the Trump campaign—go find something on them.” So Mueller’s probe was tainted from the get-go. Mueller, the FBI director before Comey, was the ultimate insider. He was friends with, or had worked with, many of the people in the Obama administration who used the Fusion GPS allegations to spy on the Trump campaign. Too many of the people Mueller hired were outright involved in coordinating with Fusion GPS in 2016, and thus had an interest in pushing the collusion hoax.
A Witch Hunt that Caught Many
Some people surrounding Trump were smarmy, and Mueller got convictions involving misreporting wealth to receive a loan, or failure to pay taxes. But one wonders what the results would be if all Americans had someone scrutinizing their financial documents. Al Sharpton, for example, owes millions in unpaid taxes. In other words, if you were ever tied to Trump, you were treated differently. Flynn, for example, faces financial ruin. He was charged with lying to the FBI, even though the agents Yates had sent to trap him didn’t think he was lying. He only capitulated after Mueller began to go after his son. George Papadopoulos was charged with lying to investigators, because he said he hadn’t joined the Trump campaign on a certain date when, really, he hadn’t officially joined, but was aware that he would be added. Other witnesses, little known to the public, spent thousands of dollars in legal fees just to avoid getting rung up on perjury charges such as these. Meanwhile, in just a few examples of abuse that have gone yet unpunished, Fusion GPS’s Simpson lied to Congress under oath, and Steele lied to the FBI. Comey and McCabe engaged in criminal leaks, as did other intelligence officials. Anti-Trump FBI guy Peter Strzok, who was added to the Mueller team, had his texts magically disappear between the day of the last Steele memo and the day Mueller was appointed special counsel. Other texts disappeared too. And oversight attempts by congressional Republicans routinely met excuses that information was classified, when it really just was damaging or embarrassing to the FBI. To this day, Fusion GPS is being funded by Democrats, led by a former Sen. Dianne Feinstein staffer, to continue to push a collusion narrative. Court documents even show that Fusion GPS has paid, and may continue to be paying, journalists such as NBC’s Ken Dilanian who participate in spinning their narrative.
The America Hillary Clinton Hath Wrought
This chain of events has damaged the country in ways we don’t even fully understand yet. This thing won’t go away in a couple of years. Real people—and loyal Americans—were harmed, like Carter Page. The harm to the country has been immense. Americans have lost faith in elections. Henceforth, every presidential election for two decades will be subject to wild and mainstream claims of vote-rigging. Already, an astonishing near-70 percent of Democrats believe Russia manipulated vote tallies to get Trump elected. Almost half of all American voters believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Whoever loses in 2020 will claim the other side cheated or worse. That has always existed in politics, but now it is fully mainstream. Stacey Abrams, a Democrat running for governor in Georgia, has refused to concede. Democrat Andrew Gillum, running for governor in Florida, conceded then walked it back, only to concede again. Regular American families who used to agree to disagree about politics are now at each other’s throats. After all, the media has been telling people that Trump is a traitor. How could any decent person support a traitor? The Russia fiasco, aside from dividing Americans, has also furthered the divide between the Beltway and the rest of the country. Middle America realized how bad Washington DC is, if we didn’t know already. Things in DC are less top-secret than they are seedy. The nexus between Fusion GPS, the Obama administration, and Hillary’s campaign is astonishing, but it also isn’t. Americans now don’t trust any of their institutions, including federal law enforcement and the media. The damage to America’s interests, and a rational foreign policy discourse, has also been far-reaching and yet to be realized. We shouldn’t be friends with Russia, but there are areas where cooperation with Russia—based on hard-nosed realism—is in America’s interest. But diplomacy with Russia is now taboo, which is helping China by strengthening and cementing a growing Beijing-Moscow alliance. Americans also realized that the country was more complicated than Republicans versus Democrats. True liberals stood out, like Michael Tracey, Glenn Greenwald, and Matt Taibbi. We can disagree vehemently over certain issues, but these men, and those like them, are honorable and principled. If Michael Hastings were with us today—another liberal who asked tough questions about unelected people in power—he’d be proud.
Liberalism Is Dead
But aside from this remnant, liberalism is dead. It has been replaced by an insane, corporatist, identity-politics-fueled, and, yes, pagan mob that would only be possible in a country sliding towards post-Christianity. The new left is power-hungry, wants nothing to do with the traditional working class, and the ends always justify the means. They are desperate to blame any atrocity or act of violence on conservatives, while ignoring or even excusing the acts of violence perpetrated by those on their own side. They are literally pining for the day that they can throw Trump and his entire family in jail. Maybe even as an old man, after he leaves office. Let that sink in. That’s the America that Rod Rosenstein, Bob Mueller, and Hillary Clinton created. Yet there is a silver lining. Conservative voters are having a gradual epiphany. They are starting to realize what they are up against. The epiphany is not limited to the left. Conservatives (some barely so) like Bill Kristol, Max Boot, Jonah Goldberg, and David French, also emerged as misguided has-beens at best. Kristol famously said he prefers “the deep state” over democracy because voters picked Trump. These men refused to let go of hopes of collusion, for which there was no evidence, due to their personal vendettas and distaste for Trump. The conservative movement is better off without people like Kristol and Boot. Worse, constitutionalists like Sen. Ben Sasse, who might have legitimate ideological differences with Trump, refused to see the “Russia investigation” and the constant anonymous leaks as the abuse of bureaucratic power that they were. Too many elected Republican officials in D.C. share this problem. The sooner voters realize this, the better. The leftwing media in the country—which many conservatives used to take at face value—has lost all credibility. But this too has a silver lining. The leftwing media and our vast bureaucracy are an enemy to constitutional governance. Again, the sooner we realize this the better. Democrats have dug themselves so deeply in this hole that they have no choice but to double-down. That may help ensure Trump’s reelection in 2020. And therein lies the answer to all of this. We should certainly reform the intelligence agencies, which are desperately in need of greater oversight, and seek to end selective enforcement of federal law. Trump should run in 2020 talking about this, instead of making the issue solely about his own experience. But the ultimate solution is deterrence: make those involved in this hoax, especially those in government jobs who hold the public trust, accountable to our laws. Make every unelected official, Democrat or Republican, think twice about abusing his or her power in the future.
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Judicial Watch: FBI Admits Hillary Clinton Emails Found in Obama White House

Postby smix » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:29 pm

Judicial Watch: FBI Admits Hillary Clinton Emails Found in Obama White House
Judicial Watch

URL: https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-roo ... ite-house/
Category: Politics
Published: April 23, 2019

Description: Also Confirms Over 49,000 Clinton Server Emails Found on Weiner Laptop
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President. The FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner. E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, made the disclosure to Judicial Watch as part of court-ordered discovery into the Clinton email issue. U.S District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as Priestap, to be deposed or answer writer questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.” Priestap was asked by Judicial Watch to identify representatives of Hillary Clinton, her former staff, and government agencies from which “email repositories were obtained.” Priestap responded with the following non-exhaustive list:
* Bryan Pagliano
* Cheryl Mills
* Executive Office of the President [Emphasis added]
* Heather Samuelson
* Jacob Sullivan
* Justin Cooper
* United States Department of State
* United States Secret Service
* Williams & Connolly LLP
Priestap also testifies that 48,982 emails were reviewed as a result of a warrant for Clinton email account information from the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who had been married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. A complete copy of Priestap’s interrogatory responses is available here. Priestap, is serving as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and helped oversee both the Clinton email and the 2016 presidential campaign investigations. Priestap testified in a separate lawsuit that Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts. “This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated – Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme.” Priestap was ordered to answer the written questions by United States District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth when he ruled in January that Judicial Watch’s discovery could begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. This action came in Judicial Watch’s July 2014 FOIA lawsuit for:
* Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
* Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.
Judicial Watch’s discovery seeks answers to:
* Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
* whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
* whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.
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