When The Department Of Justice Forgets What It Is Supposed To Be Doing

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted an article revealing documents that had received from the Department of Justice through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request.

The article reports:

Judicial Watch today released 14 pages of records from the Department of Justice showing officials’ efforts in responding to media inquiries centering on talks within the DOJ/FBI allegedly invoking the 25th Amendment to “remove” President Donald Trump from office and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offering to wear a “wire” to record his conversations with the president.

The records show that, following a September 21, 2018, report on Rosenstein suggesting he would wear a wire to secretly record Trump and his discussions on using the 25th Amendment, Rosenstein sought to ensure the media would have “difficulty” finding anyone in the DOJ to comment and a concerted effort within the DOJ to frame the reporting as “inaccurate” and “factually incorrect.”

The records show DOJ officials had also discussed characterizing Rosenstein’s reported offer of wearing a wire to record Trump as merely “sarcastic.”

Additionally, the records show DOJ Public Affairs officer Sarah Isgur Flores, after conferring with other top DOJ officials and Rosenstein’s office about her email exchange with New York Times reporter Adam Goldman, waited 12 hours to forward the email exchange to DOJ Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker. Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had referred to Whitaker as the president’s “eyes and ears” in the DOJ.

Judicial Watch obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests dated September 21, 2018 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-00388)). The lawsuit seeks all written and audio/visual records of any FBI/DOJ discussions regarding the 25th Amendment and plans to secretly record President Trump in the Oval Office.

The records obtained by Judicial Watch include a September 21, 2018, email from Assistant U.S. Attorney (DOJ/NSD) Harvey Eisenberg to Rosenstein informing the DAG that Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima had called inquiring about a New York Times report on the 25th Amendment/wire discussion, Rosenstein responds: “Thanks! Hopefully we are being successful, and the reporters are having difficulty finding anybody to comment about things. [Remainder of email redacted.]” Apparently in response to the redacted portion of Rosenstein’s reply, Eisenberg responds, “I’m aware. Besides letting you know, [redacted]. My best to you and the family.” Rosenstein replies, “I don’t mean about me. [Redacted.]”

The emails also detail the DOJ’s response to the initial story as it was being prepared by the New York Times. On September 20, 2018, the Times’ Goldman emails DOJ’s Flores that he and fellow reporter Mike Schmidt were working on a story and wanted a DOJ response to certain questions, including that at a May 16, 2017, meeting of senior federal law enforcement officials, Rosenstein offered to wear a “wire” to record his conversations with Trump. “He also said McCabe could wear a wire.”

In a second request for comment, Goldman alleges that in a separate conversation between Rosenstein and McCabe, they discussed using the 25th Amendment “to remove President Trump” and “Rosenstein said that he may be able to get (then-Attorney General Jeff) Sessions and Kelly to go along with the plan.”

In a third request for comment, Goldman said he’d learned that Rosenstein in a May 12, 2017, conversation at the DOJ Command Center “appeared ‘upset’ and ‘emotional’ over the Comey firing.”

In a fourth request for comment, Goldman said that in a May 14, 2017, conversation with McCabe, “Rosenstein asked McCabe to reach out to Comey to seek advice about appointing a special counsel. McCabe believed that was a bad idea.”

In a fifth and final request for which he sought DOJ comment, Goldman wrote, “Rosenstein considered appointing (former Deputy Attorney General) Jim Cole as the special counsel.”

On Sept 20, 2018, Flores forwarded the Goldman email to “Annie” and “Bill” — apparently White House Deputy Counsel Annie Donaldson and White House Communications Director Bill Shine — telling Donaldson, “Boss calling Don re the below – if you think appropriate, share with Don [presumably referring to White House Counsel Don McGahn]”. She tells Shine, “We’ve sent a response from the DAG that’s below and had someone in the room dispute the ‘wire’ part noting the dag was being sarcastic.” She then includes the DAG response, which reads, “The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect. I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the Department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: based on my personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

Shine thanks Flores and asks her to “share with Elliott ASAP.” Flores responds that if Shine is directing her to share with Elliott, “I don’t think I know who that is referring to.” Flores sent that response at 10:09 PM on September 20, but Flores waits until 10:00 a.m. the next day to forward the entire exchange to DOJ Chief of Staff Whitaker, saying: “Should have sent this to you last night.”

In a mostly redacted email exchange on the evening of September 20, 2018, shows the efforts of officials in the Public Affairs and DAG’s office to produce a response to the impending news article. DOJ Official Bradley Weinsheimer forwarded to Flores the “DAG response” to the allegations in the article, saying “DAG has cleared this, which is what we just discussed.” He then provides the official DAG response about the allegations over Rosenstein wanting to invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump as being “inaccurate and factually incorrect.” Deputy Attorney General’s office official Ed O’Callaghan responds, “Think good.” The rest of his response is redacted under (b)(5) – deliberative process.

In the final draft of the official DAG response approved by O’Callaghan, the statement is changed from “Based on my dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment” to “Based on my personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

The article concludes with an amazing statement:

“It is remarkable that Judicial Watch has done more to investigate the DOJ/FBI’s discussions about overthrowing President Trump than the DOJ or Congress,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents essentially confirm the coup discussions about wearing a wire when speaking with President Trump and plans to remove him under the 25th Amendment.”

America just survived an attempted coup, and the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were part of that coup. No one has been held accountable, and that is frightening.

We Know That This Is Not Political…

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the following headline, “Deep State FBI Director Wray Fights to Delay Release of Strzok-Page Text Messages Until AFTER 2020 Election.” If we had any doubts about Wray’s loyalties, I think those doubts were just erased.

The article reports:

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s FBI is fighting like hell to keep the thousands of outstanding text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page under wraps until after the 2020 election.

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has been in court this summer fighting to get their hands on 13,000 pages of Strzok-Page documents.

The FBI wants over 2 years to “process” the Strzok-Page docs.

The Court in late July ordered parties to negotiate a solution to getting key docs more quickly, Judicial Watch said. The FBI is protecting itself on illegal abuses.

“Wray FBI wants to stall until well after next presidential election before completing release of emails/texts between corrupt FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page,” Tom Fitton said.

“26 months for 13,000 pages!? President Donald Trump should order the FBI to comply with law and stop the stonewalling,” he added.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I guess that is why the political left is fighting so hard against it.

The article concludes:

The FBI was forced to hand over text messages between Strzok and Page, however, they claimed that they were unable to retrieve several months worth of texts because they were ‘missing.’

Mueller also scrubbed other text messages between Strzok and Page. Their phones were set to ‘factory settings’ when the two FBI officials turned in their phones to the FBI resulting in ‘lost’ data.

Judicial Watch has been fighting in court to obtain the outstanding Strzok-Page texts and FBI Director Wray is working to keep the documents hidden from public scrutiny.

It’s amazing how many things were erased in the Clinton email investigation and in the Russia investigation. It’s time the American public got to see as much of that information as is possible to retrieve.

When The Circus Comes To Town

Yesterday Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, posted an article at The Daily Caller. The title of the article says it all, “FITTON: Congress Should Stop Wasting Time On Mueller — And Investigate Hillary Clinton’s Role In Steel Dossier.”

Here are some highlights from the article:

This hearing will give Mueller and the Democrats an opportunity to once again push the “destroy Trump” narrative and jump-start the impeachment process. Mueller’s testimony will be geared to that end. Democratic questions will seek to fill in the blanks to preserve Mueller’s manufactured reputation for probity. And the mainstream media will be primed — and probably pre-briefed — to drive the point home.

However, unlike at his press statement where he allowed no questions, Mueller will now have to face hard scrutiny from Republicans and honest Democrats about the origins of his investigation, misconduct during the process, and his questionable, sometimes completely erroneous conclusions.

For example, why did Mueller sit on the fact that his team had early-on discovered that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which was the central question of the entire Russiagate hoax? Were the midterm elections a factor in his delay for exonerating President Trump of Russia collusion?

Why did Mueller continue as special counsel after learning that former FBI Director James Comey broke the law to get him appointed by leaking information from President Trump’s FBI files to the New York Times, using a Columbia professor friend of his as a cut-out?

It is truly sad that Congress continues to waste time on attempting to remove a duly-elected President instead of actually investigating some of the facts that have come to light about the 2016 campaign which they have totally ignored.

The article continues:

Why did Mueller hide from the American people for four months Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s outrageous conduct and flagrant anti-Trump bias, which necessitated they be fired from the investigation? And why did his office quietly delete all the text messages they passed while on his team, going so far as to reformat their government-issued phones?

Did Mueller’s office have any contacts with the media, such as leaking information regarding the massive pre-dawn raid on Roger Stone’s home, or the inexplicable guns-drawn action at the home of Paul Manafort?

Why didn’t Mueller investigate the Steele dossier that was the basis for the Russian collusion hoax? Why didn’t Mueller examine contacts between Steele, Fusion GPS employees like Nellie Ohr, and/or members of the Clinton campaign with the sketchy Russian sources who fed the rumors that were the basis of the dossier

The article concludes:

This is rooted in a Clinton campaign operation seeking to create a false narrative that the Russians were conspiring with Donald Trump to rig the 2016 election. But she was the one subverting the American electoral process, with the unprecedented and illicit cooperation of corrupt swamp dwellers in the upper reaches of the Obama administration. And it is important that the sedition be exposed, and Hillary Clinton and the rest be held accountable.

To this end the president should start releasing all the key documents that detail the depth and breadth of the scandal, who was involved in it, and how it unfolded. Attorney General William Barr needs to investigate how the Mueller investigation came about and, in particular, the matter of the manufactured predicate for the unprecedented and troubling mobilization of government resources to spy on the Trump presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, Judicial Watch has over 50 lawsuits to uncover more information, of which over a dozen relate to Mueller himself.  The Democrat circus hearing may boomerang as the “investigation of the investigators” accelerates.

The activities of those in government who have tried to remove this President need to be exposed. This should never happen again.

The Investigation Continues

Judicial Watch has been instrumental in uncovering the misdeeds of the intelligence and Department of Justice communities during the Obama administration. They are quietly deposing many of the people involved as the result of a ruling by a district court that allows them to question many of the people involved in the Clinton email scandal.

In a Press Release today, Judicial Watch reported:

Judicial Watch: Justice Department Granted Immunity To Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer Who Destroyed 33,000 Emails

Heather Samuelson also testifies under oath in Judicial Watch court-ordered deposition that, 

contrary to what she told the FBI, she was in fact aware that 

Clinton used private email account as secretary of state

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s White House Liaison at the State Department, and later Clinton’s personal lawyer, Heather Samuelson, admitted under oath that she was granted immunity by the U.S. Department of Justice in June 2016:

Samuelson: I was provided limited production immunity by the Department of Justice.

Judicial Watch: And when was that?

***

Samuelson: My recollection, it was June 2015 [later corrected to 2016].

A complete copy of her deposition transcript is available here. Samuelson also revealed that, contrary to what she told the FBI in 2016, she was, in fact, aware that Sec. Clinton used a private email account while secretary of state:

Judicial Watch: Ms. Samuelson, when did you first become aware that Secretary Clinton used the e-mail address hdr22@clintonemail.com while she was at the State Department?

Samuelson: I believe I first became aware when either she e-mailed me on personal matters, such as wishing me happy birthday, or when I infrequently would receive e-mails forwarded to me from others at the department that had that e-mail address listed elsewhere in the document.

***

Judicial Watch: Okay. And who were the State Department officials?

Samuelson: I recall Cheryl Mills, but it could have been others.

Samuel’s admission to Judicial Watch that she became aware of Clinton’s non-State.gov emails during her service in the Clinton State Department White House Liaison Office during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state (January 2009 – February 2013) contradicts the notation in the FBI’s May 24, 2016 302 report on Samuelson’s interview with FBI agents:

Samuelson did not become aware of Clinton’s use of a private email account and server until she was serving as Clinton’s personal attorney.

After Clinton left office, Samuelson worked for a year in the office of the White House Counsel before becoming Clinton’s personal attorney, where, in 2014, she was primarily responsible for conducting the review of Clinton emails and sorting out “personal” emails from government emails, which were returned to the State Department under the direction of Cheryl Mills and Clinton lawyer David Kendall.  After the emails were returned to State, Clinton deleted the rest of the “personal” emails from her server, wiping it clean. Samuelson conducted the review of emails on her laptop, using Clinton server files downloaded from Platte River Networks, which housed the Clinton email server. Judicial Watch questioned her about a “gap” in the emails she discovered:

Judicial Watch: I believe you, during your interview with the FBI, you were asked about a gap in e-mails that you noticed in Secretary Clinton’s e-mails from January 2009 to March of 2009. Do you recall that?

Samuelson: I do.

Judicial Watch: Okay. Can you explain to me what that gap was?

Samuelson: My understanding is — well, I’m sorry. I should say my recollection is when we received the documents — the file from Platte River Networks, there was a period of time that was missing in her e-mails. And that period of time was January 2009 to March 2009.

Judicial Watch: And what did you do as the result of discovering this gap in the e-mails from January 2009 to March 2009?

***

Samuelson: I asked Platte River why we did not have — why they did not provide those.

Judicial Watch: And what did they tell you?

Samuelson: They said they did not have that information.

Judicial Watch: Did Platte River have access during 2014 to the server that housed Secretary Clinton’s e-mails to her Clintonemail.com account –

***

– and was there any discussion as to whether they could obtain Secretary Clinton’s e-mails from that server from January 2009 to March 2009?

***

Samuelson: I did ask them, and they said they did not have any e-mails from that period.

Samuelson also testified in her deposition that she created an “after action memo” in or around December 2014 to memorialize the email search. Samuelson’s lawyer directed her not to answer questions about this memo.

During Hillary Clinton’s transition as secretary of state during her tenure, Samuelson was in charge of political-nomination (“Schedule C”) hires for Clinton’s transition team at the State Department.  When questioned by Judicial Watch lawyers about Brock Johnson, whom she hired as a special assistant to Secretary Clinton as a “favor” to controversial Clinton Foundation official Doug Band (co-founder of Teneo Strategy with Bill Clinton and a top official of the Clinton Foundation, including its Clinton Global Initiative), Samuelson testified that on occasion Band sent referrals of individuals they should consider hiring. Johnson later worked, in coordination with the Obama White House, when the State Department falsely responded to a Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) FOIA request that there were no records showing Clinton’s email address.

The deposition of Samuelson comes out of Judicial Watch’s July 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the U.S. Department of State failed to respond to a May 13, 2014 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch seeks:

    • 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.

On December 6, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers and Clinton aides, as well as Heather Samuelson, to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.” Judicial Watch’s discovery is centered upon whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act by using a non-government email system and whether the State Department acted in bad faith in processing Judicial Watch’s FOIA request for communications from Clinton’s office.

“The news that the Obama DOJ gave immunity to Heather Samuelson, Hillary Clinton’s lawyer responsible for the infamous deletion of 33,000 emails, further confirms the sham FBI/DOJ investigation of the Clinton email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “And it is curious that Ms. Samuelson changed her story about what she knew and when about the Clinton email system.  Attorney General Barr can’t reopen the Clinton email investigation fast enough.”

Judicial Watch seems to be the only organization that cares about corruption in our government.

The Proof Is In The Emails

Judicial Watch released the following Press Release today:

Judicial Watch: State Department Emails Show Coordination Between Obama State Department and House Democrat Leader on Christopher Steele/Russia

JUNE 12, 2019

‘You’ve been a warrior on these issues, and I look forward to speaking further to preserve and wherever possible strengthen the important work you have done’ – Hoyer aide Daniel Silverberg to Victoria Nuland 

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation today released 16 pages of documents revealing former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer coordinating with then-House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) national security advisor, Daniel Silverberg to work on Russia dossier materials provided by Christopher Steele.

Steele is a former British spy and author of the anti-Trump dossier used to justify a series of FISA spy warrants targeting Carter Page. Winer is a former Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary who was implicated in working with Steele and Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal to circulate the anti-Trump dossier.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on April 25, 2018 on behalf of itself and the Daily Caller News Foundation against the State Department after it failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv- 00968)). The lawsuit seeks:

  • All records of communications between State Department officials, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, on the one hand, and British National Christopher Steele and/or employees or contractors of Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence, on the other hand.
  • All records and/or memoranda provided by Christopher Steele and/or his firm Orbis Business Intelligence or by others acting on Steele’s/Orbis’s behalf, to State Department officials.
  • Any and all records in the custody of the State Department related to the provision of documents to British national Christopher Steele and/or his firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, or the receipt of documents from Steele or his firm.  Time period is January 20, 2009 through the present.
  • All records created in 2016 by Jonathan M. Winer relating to research compiled by Christopher Steele.

In an email exchange on September 19, 2016, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS asks Winer if he is “in town?” Winer replies “For a couple of hours.”

In an email exchange on September 26, 2016, Winer emails Nuland asking for “15 minutes of your time today if possible,” to discuss a “Russia related issue” from his “old O [Orbis Business Intelligence] friend.” Orbis was co-founded and run by Russia dossier author Christopher Steele. Nuland’s assistant suggests a secure call for the discussion and Winer asks his aide to postpone a meeting he was to have with the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) to accommodate.

In an exchange beginning in November 2016, Hoyer top-aide Silverberg emails a “thank you” to Nuland, calling her a “warrior on these issues” and stating that he looks forward to pursuing “some of the things we discussed yesterday, albeit on the system integrity side.” Nuland forwards this email to Winer who adds that he wants to talk about “some new info.”

From: Silverberg, Daniel [mailto:Daniel.Silverberg@mail.house.gov]
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2016 10:57 PM
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Thank you

Toria,

It was a delight to speak today, notwithstanding the context. You’ve been a warrior on these issues, and I look forward to speaking further to preserve and wherever possible strengthen the important work you have done. I’ll follow up regarding a possible working group meeting.

On Nov 29, 2016, at 10:07 AM, Nuland, Victoria J <nulandvi@state.gov> wrote:

Thanks, Daniel. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in whatever capacity life brings. Copied here is Jonathan Winer, who has some legal ideas that may be of interest to you and Cong. Hoyer.

From: Nuland, Victoria J
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:08 AM
To: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: RN: Thank you

They want to pursue some of the things we discussed yesterday, albeit on the system integrity side.

From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:12 AM
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Re: Thank you

Want to talk briefly further. Some new info want you to be aware of. [Redacted] Phone call ok sometime this am? Five minutes is enough.

From: Nuland, Victoria J <nulandvj@state.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:23 AM
To: Winer, Jonathan <WinerJ@state.gov>
Subject: RE: Thank you

Of course, [redacted] Send me good number and time.

From: Silverberg, Daniel
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:52 AM
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Cc: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: Re: Thank you

Great. Jonathan, I am all ears.

From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2016 2:10 PM
To: Silverberg, Daniel <Daniel.Silverberg@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Thank you

I’ve reached out per our call yesterday. Please call me to talk further at your early convenience. Weekend best but can also talk Monday.

In a November 2016 exchange with the subject line “Would like to catch up on something at your convenience,” Winer reaches out to Nuland for a meeting, which gets booked in the Truman building on November 28. 

In an email exchange dated December 12, 2016, Winer requests a brief meeting with Nuland saying, “Something new has come up of which I want you to be aware.” Nuland replies, “Ok,” and adds her assistant to the exchange. Winer’s assistant then emails Nuland’s assistant looking for a time to meet.

In February 2018, Winer wrote an op-ed claiming anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal approached him with separate dossiers. Winer wrote: “In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials.” Also, “While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know …”

“Every day of digging reveals more and more political collaboration on this hit job, and at the highest levels. While so much of the media is content to chase Russian conspiracies, The Daily Caller News Foundation and the fantastic lawyers at Judicial Watch are going to keep doing the hard work of holding power accountable,” said Christopher Bedford, editor in chief of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“These documents further confirm the Obama State Department was obviously a way station for Steele’s smear dossier and other anti-Trump activism,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch recently released 43 pages of documents from the State Department revealing that its “Special Coordinator for Libya,” Jonathan Winer, played a key role in facilitating Steele’s access to other top government officials, prominent international business executives. Winer was even approached by a movie producer about making a movie about the Russiagate targeting of President Trump.

Judicial Watch previously released two sets of heavily redacted State Department documents showing classified information was researched and disseminated to multiple U.S. Senators by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).

Also, Judicial Watch is suing the State Department for communications between Nuland and employees of Fusion GPS, as well as top ranking Department of Justice, FBI, and State Department officials.

Stay tuned. More information on the roots of the Russian collusion investigation will be coming out shortly. We already have enough information to realize that because President Trump was a political novice, professional politicians felt that they could easily set him up for disaster. Recent letters from the people involved in investigating the root of the Russia investigation indicate that people will be held accountable for the misuse of government agencies and the violation of the civil rights of Americans.

Obstruction Of Justice?

On Thursday, Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released an email revealing that Nellie Ohr, wife of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, informed him that she was deleting emails sent from Bruce Ohr’s DOJ email account.

From: Nellie Ohr

Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:49 PM

To: Ohr, Bruce (ODAG)

Subject: Re: Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016

Thanks! I’m deleting these emails now

The full email exchange is between Bruce Ohr, Lisa Holtyn, Nellie Ohr, and Stefan Bress, a first secretary at the German Embassy, and is part of 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Judicial Watch obtained the records through a March 2018 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond a December 2017 request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00490)).

Nellie Ohr’s email has the same subject line as an email exchange with the subject line “Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016” in which Bress initiates a discussion with Bruce Ohr and his top aide, Lisa Holtyn, proffering some “Russian analysts” to discuss a variety of topics with Ohr, Holtyn, and other DOJ officials. Among those topics to be discussed is “Impact of Russian influence operations in Europe (‘PsyOps/InfoWar’).”

Holtyn responds with, “I haven’t had a chance to confer with Bruce yet, but would certainly love to meet with the ‘A Team’!” Bruce Ohr then says, “That time works for me as well.” Bress then provides the personal details/passport numbers of the German analysts who will be meeting with Holtyn and Ohr. Holtyn tells Bress that the Ohr’s would like to host the German delegation for dinner and notes that Joe Wheatley and Ivana Nizich (a husband/wife team of DOJ Organized Crime prosecutors and friends of the Ohr’s) would join them as well.

Until he was demoted for his connection to the anti-Trump dossier, Bruce Ohr was a top official at DOJ. A House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes said that Nellie Ohr was “employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump” and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI. The “salacious and unverified” Dossier was used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrant to spy on Carter Page.

These documents are part of Nellie Ohr’s and the DOJ’s communications about Russia. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) recently wrote up a criminal referral concerning her testimony before Congress that she had no knowledge of what was going on during the Russia investigation at DOJ.

“This email is disturbing and suggests documents relevant to the improper targeting of President Trump were destroyed,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

This production of documents also revealed that Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant.

Americans just spent upwards of $30 million and two years investigating Russian collusion and obstruction of said investigation. Why weren’t deleted emails from key players in the investigation looked at?

The investigation into the investigators has something in common with many Clinton scandals. Although the Clintons are only tangentially involved in this scandal, it bears one of their trademarks–keep the scandal in the news until people are sick of it. At that point, reveal the truth. The public will be so bored with the basic scandal that they won’t even notice or process the truth. I hope I am wrong about this–people involved in the abuse of government power need to go to jail, but I am afraid that by the time the truth comes out, no one will care.

Avoiding Transparency

As I have previously written, Judicial Watch has done an amazing job of keeping our government transparent, regardless of which party is in power. Recently, Judicial Watch uncovered records that the State Department (during the Obama administration) had told them did not exist. The documents uncovered reveal that the Obama administration was tracting FOIA requests. The question is whether or not Secretary of State Clinton was attemptig to evade FOIA by using her private server.

Yesterday Judicial Watch issued the following Press Release:

WH called – have we received a FOIA request’ – State Department 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained 44 pages of records from the State Department through court-ordered discovery revealing that the Obama White House was tracking a December 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records concerning then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecure, non-government email system. Months after the Obama White House involvement, the State Department responded to the requestor, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), falsely stating that no such records existed.

Judicial Watch’s discovery is centered upon whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system and whether the State Department acted in bad faith in processing Judicial Watch’s FOIA request for communications from Clinton’s office. U.S District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as E.W. Priestap, to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General issued a report in January 2016 saying “At the time the request was received, dozens of senior officials throughout the Department, including members of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff, exchanged emails with the Secretary using the personal accounts she used to conduct official business.” Also, the IG “found evidence that [Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills] was informed of the request at the time it was received …”

The State Department produced records in response to court-ordered document requests that detail Obama White House involvement in the Clinton email FOIA request.

In a December 20, 2012, email with the subject line “Need to track down a FOIA request from CREW”, Sheryl L. Walter, director of the State Department’s Office of Information Programs and Services (A/GIS/IPS), writes to IPS officials Rosemary D. Reid and Patrick D. Scholl and their assistants:

WH called – have we received a FOIA request from CREW (Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington) on the topic of personal use of email by senior officials? Apparently other agencies have. If we have it, can you give me the details so I can call the WH back? I think they’d like it on quick turnaround. Thanks! Sheryl

In the same email chain, Walter on December 20, 2012 also emailed Heather Samuelson, Clinton’s White House liaison, describing the CREW FOIA request:

Hi Heather – Copy attached, it was in our significant weekly FOIA report that we send to L and S/ES also. Do you want us to add you to that list? It’s a subset of things like this that we think likely to be of broader Department interest. More detail below re this request. As a practical matter given our workload, it won’t be processed for some months. Let me know if there are any particular sensitivities. If we don’t talk later, happy holidays! All the best, Sheryl

Sheryl: The request is assigned Case #F-2012-40981. It was received on 12/6/2012 and acknowledged on 12/10/2012. The request is assigned for processing.

On January 10, 2013, Walter writes to Samuelson that she is not including “personal” accounts in the FOIA request search:

Hi Heather – did you ever get any intell re what other agencies are doing re this FOIA request that seeks records about the number of email accounts associated with the Secretary (but isn’t specifying “personal” email accounts so we are interpreting as official accounts only). We are considering contacting the requester to find out exactly what it is they are looking for. Do you have any-concerns about that approach?

Soon afterward, Samuelson responds, “White House Counsel was looking into this for me. I will circle back with them now to see if they have further guidance.”

CREW’s general counsel, Anne Weismann, submitted a FOIA request to the State Department on December 6, 2012, seeking “records sufficient to show the number of email accounts of or associated with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the extent to which those email accounts are identifiable as those of or associated with Secretary Clinton.”

On May 10, 2013, [Information Programs and Services] replied to CREW, stating that “no records responsive to your request were located.”

Samuelson became Secretary Clinton’s personal lawyer and in 2014 led the review of Clinton’s emails to determine which ones were work-related and which were personal. She was also one of five close Clinton associates granted immunity by the Department of Justice in the Clinton email investigation.

Samuelson is one of several Obama administration and State Department officials ordered by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth to respond under oath to Judicial Watch questions regarding whether Clinton’s private email use while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to evade FOIA.

The new documents also include a January 2013 email exchange discussing Clinton’s departure from the State Department in which Agency Records Officer Tasha M. Thian specifically stating that Secretary Clinton “does not use email.”

This was directly contradicted by an email exchange between Secretary Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus dating back to January 2009 – the very first days of Clinton’s State Department tenure – in which she tells Petraeus that she “had to change her email address.”

Interestingly, this email exchange between Petraeus and Clinton was not produced in a related FOIA lawsuit seeking “all emails” of Hillary Clinton. The bottom portion of the email chain was produced, but not the beginning emails.

In a January 2013 email under the subject “RE: Sec Clinton’s papers,” Thian writes:

Just so you know, Secretary Clinton – she brought with her a lot of material as Senator and First Lady – 47 boxes. In case you hear there are many boxes I wanted you to know what they are. She is taking her copies of photos, public speeches, press statements, contacts, templates (some of these are both hard copy and electronic), reimbursements, etc …

Although Sec. Clinton does not use email [emphasis added] her staffers do – I have agreed that the emails of the three staffers will be electronically captured (and not printed out).

Also included in the new batch of documents is the draft Departing Officials Notice, which states that State Department personnel are not to remove classified records from Department “custody and control.”

The new records obtained by Judicial Watch are further evidence revealing the Obama White House’s early knowledge of questions surrounding Clinton’s email use. In late April, Judicial Watch announced that E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, had 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.

“These documents suggest the Obama White House knew about the Clinton email lies being told to the public at least as early as December 2012,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “A federal court granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton emails because the court wanted answers about a government cover-up of the Clinton emails. And now we have answers because it looks like the Obama White House orchestrated the Clinton email cover-up.”

Judicial Watch’s filed its 2014 FOIA lawsuit after the State Department failed to respond to a May 13, 2014 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)).

Real news is out there, you just have to look for it. Sometimes you simply have to go after it using the legal process.

Is Anyone Actually Surprised By This?

Yesterday BizPacReview reported:

Recently published case files from the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appear to show that certain evidence from that investigation has gone “missing.”

Reportedly released last week by the FBI itself, the records contain internal emails sent only three months ago in which it’s revealed that a CD that contained notes from an Aug. 3, 2015 meeting with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community has gone “missing.”

One email starts by saying that certain “Special Agents (SAs)” have been gathering and captioning evidence “in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)” request.

Judicial Watch has been doing a phenomenal job of investigating the Hillary Clinton email scandal.

On May 1, Judicial Watch issued the following in regard to their investigation:

Judge Lamberth made the ruling in Judicial Watch’s July 2014 FOIA lawsuit filed after the U.S. Department of State failed to respond to a May 13, 2014 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch seeks:

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.

“A federal court wants answers on the Clinton email scandal and Mr. Sullivan is one of many witnesses Judicial Watch will question under oath,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is shameful that the Justice and State Departments continue to try to protect Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration on the email scandal.”

U.S District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as E.W. Priestap, to be deposed or answer written questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

Judicial Watch previously released interrogatory responses given under oath by E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, in which he stated that agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President.

I will post more on the Judicial Watch investigation as it becomes available. Meanwhile, it seems as if the government’s investigation can’t get out of its own way.

BizPacReview reports:

“On February 6, 2019, SA [redacted] contacted SA [redacted] regarding the notes,” another email reads. “SA [redacted] explained he documented all relevant case materials before leaving the case and did not retain any notes or other case materials. As such WFO CI-13 considers the item missing and will enclose this document [the email?] into 1A4 as a placeholder until the missing item is located.”

In other words, this evidence — whatever it may be — has inexplicably been destroyed (someone or something cracked the CD) or gone “missing,” as the federal agency would prefer to put it.

What it’s unclear what aspect of the Clinton investigation these notes had covered, what’s known is that Clinton has a track record of destroying evidence.

Around March of 2015, it was learned that the then-Democrat presidential candidate had “unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” as noted at the time by then-Congressman Trey Gowdy.

When asked later that year by Fox News’ Ed Henry about wiping her server clean, she tried to feign ignorance by innocently asking, “Like with a cloth or something?

Clinton also reportedly ordered her aides to discard her old SIM cards and destroy her Blackberrys.

Obstruction, anyone?

Judicial Watch Investigates

Judicial Watch is one of my favorite organizations. The have turned the use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests into an art form. They are a non-biased group that is simply demanding transparency in government–from both parties.

Yesterday One America News Network posted an article about the latest FOIA request from Judicial Watch.

The article reports:

Conservative watchdog group filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the FBI in an effort to pierce the veil of the resources used in the $25 million probe.

Specifically, the organization is looking to obtain all communications and payments made to the author of the anti-Trump dossier — Christopher Steele.

The former British intelligence officer was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in order to compile his 35 page document.

Judicial Watch is now trying to determine the FBI’s involvement.

It’s already known that the FBI made 11 payments to Steele, but the details behind those payments were heavily redacted.

Conservatives suspect rogue actors at the bureau were looking to reverse the results of the 2016 election, which is something Attorney General William Barr said he’s looking into.

I don’t think they were rogue actors–I think the operation began very high up in the FBI, but we will have to wait to see if that is where the trail leads.

About That ‘Cover Up’ Thing

As I have previously stated, if you want an unbiased assessment of what is actually going on behind the scenes in our government, one of your best sources is Judicial Watch.

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted a Press Release about Hillary Clinton’s private server. Below are some of the highlights:

FBI notes of an interview with an unidentified Platte River Networks official in February 2016 (almost a year after the Clinton email network was first revealed) show that Platte River “gave someone access to live HRC archive mailbox at some point.” The same notes show that an email from December 11, 2014, exists that reads “Hillary cover up operation work ticket archive cleanup.” The interviewee said that the “cover up operation” email “probably related to change to 60 day [sic] email retention policy/backup.” The subject indicated that he didn’t “recall the prior policy.” The notes also indicated, “[Redacted] advised [redacted] not to answer questions related to conv [conversation] w/DK [David Kendall] document 49 – based on 5th amendment.”

The subject said that “everyone @ PRN has access to client portal.”

A December 11, 2014, Platte River Networks email between redacted parties says: “Its [sic] all part of the Hillary coverup operation <smile> I’ll have to tell you about it at the party”

An August 2015 email from Platte River Networks says: “So does this mean we don’t have offsite backups currently? That could be a problem if someone hacks this thing and jacks it up. We will have to be able to produce a copy of it somehow, or we’re in some deep shit. Also, what ever [sic] came from the guys at Datto about the old backups? Do they have anyway [sic] of getting those back after we were told to cut it to 30 days?”

In March 2015, Platte River Networks specifically discusses security of the email server.

[Redacted] is going to send over a list of recommendations for us to apply for additional security against hackers. He did say we should probably remove all Clinton files, folders, info off our servers etc. on an independent drive.

Handwritten notes that appear to be from Platte River Networks in February 2016 mention questions concerning the Clinton email system and state of back-ups

The documents show Platte River Networks’ use of BleachBit on the Clinton server. The BleachBit program was downloaded from a vendor called SourceForge at 11:42am on March 31, 2015, according to a computer event log, and over the next half hour, was used to delete the files on Hillary’s server.

…From: [Redacted]

Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2015 2:46 PM

To: Grafeld, Margaret P [Peggy]

Subject: Concerns about the HRC Review …

While working with this inspector, I have personally reviewed hundreds of documents in the HRC collection. I can now say, without reservation, that there are literally hundreds of classified emails in this collection; maybe more. For example, there are comments by Department staff in emails relating to the Wikileaks unauthorized disclosures; many of the emails relating to this actually confirm the information in the disclosures. This material is the subject of FOIA litigation, and the emails will now have to be found, reviewed and upgraded. Under the EO 13526, it would be in in our right to classify the entire HRC collection at the Secret level because of the “mosaic effect.” While there may be IC equities in the collection, I am very concerned about the inadvertent release of State Department’s equities when this collection is released in its entirety — the potential damage to the foreign relations of the United States could be significant.

The Press Release concludes:

“Judicial Watch uncovered new ‘cover-up’ records on the illicit Clinton email system that further demonstrate the sham nature of the FBI/DOJ ‘investigation’ of her,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These shocking new documents show that various Obama agencies were protecting Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her misconduct. It is well past time for the DOJ to stop shielding Hillary Clinton and hold her fully accountable to the rule of law.”

In a different lawsuit Judicial Watch previously released 186 pages of records from the DOJ that include emails documenting an evident cover-up of a chart of potential violations of law by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

And, in a separate lawsuit, Judicial Watch uncovered 215 pages of records from the DOJ revealing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues.

Judicial Watch has previously released numerous instances of classified information distributed through Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email system. For example, see here, here and here.

And, Judicial Watch is currently conducting depositions of senior Obama-era State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides.

Here’s the evidence. What is the government going to do about it?

The Need To Hold Individuals Accountable

I think one of the most frustrating things about watching the news these days is watching people in power say things that have no foundation in fact and do things that an ordinary person would go to jail for. Those days may be coming to an end (one can only hope).

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The article reports:

The official complaint filed by Judicial Watch with the Office of Congressional Ethics, requests House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) be investigated in connection with recent revelations that he secretly met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in Aspen, Colorado in July of 2018.

The complaint also requests Schiff be investigated after it was revealed his staff traveled to New York and met with Michael Cohen for 10 hours prior to Trump’s former lawyer testifying to the House Intel Panel.

The article includes a portion of the ethics complaint:

Dear Chairman Skaggs,

Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.

This letter serves as our official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) concerning the activities of Rep. Adam Schiff. Rep. Schiff appears to have violated House Code of Official Conduct, Rule 23, clauses 1 and 2, by inappropriately communicating with witnesses. Clauses 1 and 2 provide:

1.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

Rep. Adam Schiff attended the Aspen Security Forum conference in July 2018, which was also attended by Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm Fusion GPS. Press reports have detailed evidence of a meeting and discussion between Rep. Schiff and Glenn Simpson at the July 2018 Aspen Security Forum. As noted in The Hill newspaper:

At the time of the encounter, Simpson was an important witness in the House Intelligence Committee probe who had given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Fusion GPS is the political opposition research firm involved in procuring “unverified” information claiming the Trump presidential campaign had “colluded” with Russia, among other things. That Fusion OPS-supplied information was the basis upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrants against Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

Mr. Simpson’s leadership of Fusion GPS and his centrality to events resulted in his having to testify before congressional committees or their staffs. Specifically, Mr. Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, of which Rep. Schiff was the ranking Democratic member, on October 16, 2018 – approximately three (3) months after the Aspen Security Forum.

We note that following revelations in 2017 that Rep. Devin Nunes had informed President Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies had been engaging in “incidental collection” of his campaign’s communications, Rep. Schiff demanded that Rep. Nunes, then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from any investigations involving alleged Trump collusion with Russia. Indeed, Rep. Schiff wrote the following on twitter:

This is not a recommendation I make lightly … But in much the same way that the attorney general [Jeff Sessions] was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman.

Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred with Rep. Schiff’s call for Mr. Nunes to recuse himself.

The July 2018 contacts between Rep. Schiff and Mr. Simpson create, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety. As a result of Rep. Schiff’s previously undisclosed, private discussions with Mr. Simpson, the public’s confidence in Mr. Schiff’s ability to objectively and impartially carry out his duties as Committee Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been gravely damaged.

Further, Rep. Schiff’s contacts with Mr. Michael Cohen should also be scrutinized in the same light as the Simpson contacts. Journalists have reported:

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told House investigators this week that staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the matter – as Republicans question whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

The sources said the sessions covered a slew of topics addressed during the public hearing before the oversight committee – including the National Enquirer ‘s “Catch and Kill” policy, American Media CEO David Pecker and the alleged undervaluing of President Trump’s assets.

Judicial Watch is a watchdog group that fights for government transparency. The are equally hard on Democrats and Republicans. They have been major players in exposing much of the deep state in recent years.

Truth Based On Evidence

A lot of what we are hearing about collusion, surveillance, etc., is simply stated as ‘reliable sources say.’ I suspect some of what we are hearing is true, but it is impossible to tell what is real and what is not. However, while the media is simply speculating and smearing people they don’t like, Judicial Watch is quietly executing Freedom of Information Act requests and analyzing the date.

Below is the latest Press Release from Judicial Watch (February 15th):

‘I’ll make sure Andy tells Mike to keep these in his pocket’

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it received 186 pages of records from the Department of Justice that include emails documenting an evident cover up of a chart of potential violations of law by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Judicial Watch obtained the records through a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed respond to a December 4, 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). Judicial Watch is seeking all communications between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.

The newly obtained emails came in response to a May 21 order by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to the FBI to begin processing 13,000 pages of records exchanged exclusively between Strzok and Page between February 1, 2015, and December 2017. The FBI may not complete review and production of all the Strzok-Page communications until at least 2020.

  • Three days after then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference announcing that he would not recommend a prosecution of Mrs. Clinton, a July 8, 2016 email chain shows that, the Special Counsel to the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of the National Security Branch, whose name is redacted, wrote to Strzok and others that he was producing a “chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation [of Clinton’s server], and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute…”

[Redacted] writes: I am still working on an additional page for these TPs that consist of a chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation, and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute, hopefully in non-lawyer friendly terms …

Strzok forwards to Page, Jonathan Moffa and others: I have redlined some points. Broadly, I have some concerns about asking some our [sic] senior field folks to get into the business of briefing this case, particularly when we have the D’s [Comey’s] statement as a kind of stand alone document. In my opinion, there’s too much nuance, detail, and potential for missteps. But I get they may likely be asked for comment.

[Redacted] writes to Strzok, Page and others: The DD [Andrew McCabe] will need to approve these before they are pushed out to anyone. At the end of last week, he wasn’t inclined to send them to anyone. But, it’s great to have them on the shelf in case they’re needed.

[Redacted] writes to Strzok and Page: I’m really not sure why they continued working on these [talking points]. In the morning, I’ll make sure Andy [McCabe] tells Mike [Kortan] to keep these in his pocket. I guess Andy just didn’t ever have a moment to turn these off with Mike like he said he would.

Page replies: Yes, agree that this is not a good idea.

Neither these talking points nor the chart of potential violations committed by Clinton and her associates have been released.

  • On May 15, 2016, James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey, sends FBI General Counsel James Baker; Bill Priestap, former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division; McCabe; Page; and others an email with the subject line “Request from the Director.”

Rybicki writes: By NLT [no later than] next Monday, the Director would like to see a list of all cases charged in the last 20 years where the gravamen of the charge was mishandling classified information.

It should be in chart form with: (1) case name, (2) a short summary for content (3) charges brought, and (4) charge of conviction.

If need be, we can get it from NSD [National Security Division] and let them know that the Director asked for this personally.

Please let me know who can take the lead on this.

Thanks!

Jim

Page forwards to Strzok: FYSA [For your situational awareness]

Strzok replies to Page: I’ll take the lead, of course – sounds like an espionage section question… Or do you think OGC [Office of the General Counsel] should?

And the more reason for us to get feedback to Rybicki, as we all identified this as an issue/question over a week ago.

Page replies: I was going to reply to Jim [Rybicki] and tell him I can talked [sic] to you about this already. Do you want me to?

  • A July 22, 2016, email exchange, among Strzok, Page, Moffa and other unidentified FBI and DOJ officials, shows that Beth Wilkinson, an attorney for several top Clinton aides during the server investigation, wanted a conference call with the DOJ/FBI and that she was “haranguing” the FBI/DOJ about the return of laptops in the FBI’s possession:

A Wilkinson Walsh attorney, emails [Redacted] FBI National Security Division Officials: We wanted to follow up on our conversation from a few days ago. We would like to schedule a time to speak with both you and [Redacted] early next week. Is there a time on Monday or Tuesday that could work on your end?

[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official emails: See below. I am flexible on Monday and Tuesday. [Redacted] can chime in with her availability. It is my understanding that Toscas [George Toscas, who helped lead Midyear Exam] may have called over to Jim or Trisha [former Principal Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson] regarding some high-level participation for at least the first few such calls. I am happy to discuss further but wanted to send you this so you could raise within the OGC [Office of the General Counsel] and give me a sense of scheduling options. I am around if you want to talk.

***

[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official writes: In the meantime, I’ll tell Hal that we will certainly schedule a call and will get back to him as to timing. Since he knows Beth [Wilkinson] personally, it could be useful to have Jim on the phone if she is going to be haranguing us re: the laptops.

[Redacted] FBI Office of the General Counsel writes: More…I guess this is [Redacted’s] rationale for why we need to have the GC on the call to discuss the fact that we will be following all of our legal obligations and FBI policies/procedures with regard to the disposition of the materials in this case.

Strzok writes: You are perfectly competent to speak to the legal obligations and FBI policy/procedures. We should NOT be treating opposing counsel this way. We would not in any other case.

  • In an April 12, 2016, email exchange initiated by an email from Strzok to [Redacted] within the Justice Department’s National Security Division (NSD), Strzok asks the NSD official if he’d like to add anything to the agenda of a meeting to occur three days later between FBI and DOJ attorneys.

[Redacted] NSD official responds: Would like to see what you have on your agenda so we could see what we might want to add on our end. I will mention to [Redacted]. Also interested in understanding FBI OGC’s analysis of the privilege and ethics issues we are facing.

Strzok forwards to Page: Pretty nonresponsive.…

Page responds: Why provide them an agenda? I wouldn’t do that until you have a sense of how Andy [McCabe] wants to go. So no. We’ll talk about what we’re going to talk about and then they can talk about what they want to talk about. Also, seriously Pete. F him. OGC needs to provide an analysis? We haven’t done one. But they seem to be categorical that it’s just impossible, I’d just like to know why.

And now I’m angry before bed again.?

Total indulgence, there’s a TV in here. Here’s hoping I can find something to sufficiently melt my brain???

Strzok replies: Because I want to make this productive! Why NOT provide them an agenda!?!? We all talk about what we want to talk about and that’s a waste of time.

They haven’t done one either (legal analysis)

Assume noble intent.

How do we maximize this use of time?

Page writes: I’m ignoring all this and going to bed.

Strzok and Page were discussing a meeting that the Justice Department and FBI were about to have concerning, among other things, “privilege and ethics issues we are facing.”

  • On July 12, 2016, Eugene Kiely, the director of FactCheck.org, emailed the FBI about inconsistencies he’d identified between Comey’s congressional testimony and statements by Clinton and her campaign about her deletion of emails. Kiely noted that Comey testified to the House that Clinton did not give her lawyers any instructions on which of her emails to delete, whereas Clinton herself told the press that she made the decision on which emails should be deleted. Kiely also pointed out that Comey said in his testimony that there were three Clinton emails containing classification “portion markings,” whereas the State Department had said there were only two Clinton emails with classification markings. Kiely’s inquiry set off an internal discussion at the top of the FBI on how to respond to his questions.

Strzok writes: “We’re looking into it and will get back to you this afternoon; the answer may require some tweaking, the question is whether this is the forum to do it.” The email is addressed to FBI intelligence analyst Moffa; Rybicki; Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired; Lisa Page and others.

Strzok’s suggested press response is fully redacted, but included is his deferral to the “7th floor as to whether to release to this reporter or in another manner.”

When asked “should we provide any additional information to FactCheck.org or would any updates more appropriately be give [sic] directly to Congress?” Strzok defers to “Jim/Lisa [Page]” and [Redacted].

  • In response to a March 29, 2016, article in The Hill, forwarded by Strzok to Page, reporting that Judge Royce Lamberth ordered limited discovery for Judicial Watch in its lawsuit against the State Department for Clinton’s emails (related to the Benghazi attack) – and thus opening Clinton up to possible depositions by Judicial Watch – Page responds simply: “Oh boy.”

“Judicial Watch caught the FBI in another cover-up to protect Hillary Clinton,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These records show that the FBI is hiding a chart detailing possible violations of law by Hillary Clinton and the supposed reasons she was not prosecuted.”

Judicial Watch recently released  215 pages of records from the DOJ revealing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues. The documents also further describe a previously reported quid pro quo from the Obama State Department offering the FBI more legal attaché positions if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation “from classified to something else.”

When in doubt, go directly to the source!

Avoiding The Consequences Of Bad Behavior

On February 11th, Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it received 215 pages of records from the U.S. Department of Justice revealing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues.

The documents also further describe a previously reported quid pro quo from the Obama State Department offering the FBI more legal attaché positions if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation “from classified to something else.”

The newly obtained emails came in response to a May 21 order in a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed to respond to a December 4, 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  • All records of communications, including but not limited to, emails, text messages and instant chats, between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page;
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Peter Strzok.
  • All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Lisa Page.

On October 28, 2016, the day that Comey sent a letter to Congress regarding the FBI’s discovery that the Weiner laptop contained Clinton’s emails. Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, within hours, emails Baker requesting a call “ASAP” about the Comey letter. Baker describes his follow-up call to senior FBI officials:

I received the email below from David Kendall and I called him back. Before doing so I alerted DOJ via email that I would do that.

[Redacted paragraph]

He said that our letter was “tantalizingly ambiguous” and made statements that were “inchoate and highly ominous” such that what we had done was worse than transparency because it allows people to make whatever they want out to make out of the letter to the prejudice of Secretary Clinton.

I told him that I could not respond to his requests at this time but that I would discuss it with others and get back to him.

I suggest that we have some kind of follow up meeting or phone call with this group either this evening or over the weekend to address this and probably other issues/questions that come up in the next 24 hours. Sound reasonable?

Baker’s heads up on the Kendall call was sent to:

The emails show that a conference call for the above senior officials was set up for the next day by Peter Strzok. (Two days before the election, on November 6, Comey sent a second letter reporting that the FBI’s review of the Weiner laptop material would not change his “conclusion” that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted.)

On October 13, 2016, former FBI attorney Lisa Page sent an email, which apparently references a related Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit and further discusses a previously reported quid pro quo offer from the State Department:

Jason Herring will be providing you with three 302s of current and former FBI employees who were interviewed during the course of the Clinton investigation. These 302s are scheduled to be released to Congress in an unredacted form at the end of the week, and produced (with redactions) pursuant to FOIA at the beginning of next week. As you will see, they describe a discussion about potential quid pro quo arrangement between then-DAD in IOD [deputy assistant director in International Operations Division] and an Undersecretary at the State Department whereby IOD would get more LEGAT [legal attaché] positions if the FBI could change the basis of the FOIA withhold re a Clinton email from classified to something else. [Emphasis added]

The lawsuit also forced the release of a November 6, 2016, email by then-FBI official Peter Strzok telling Bowdich, Priestap, Rybicki, Page, former FBI General Counsel James Baker and others: “[Redacted], Jon and I completed our review of all of the potential HRC work emails on the [Anthony Weiner] laptop. We found no previously unknown, potentially classified emails on the media.”

As Judicial Watch previously reported, there were at least 18 classified emails found on the Weiner laptop by the FBI. Paul Sperry’s RealClear Investigations report revealed that only 3,077 of the 340,000 emails “were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information.”

The new records also include a September 2, 2016, email that Comey forwards containing a press release issued that day by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), in which Grassley criticized the FBI for not publicly releasing many unclassified records related to the Clinton email-server investigation, as demanded by Congress. In his cover note responding to Grassley’s charge, Comey tells his top aides, “To be great is to be misunderstood.” Page then responds with, “Outstanding.”

On October 23, 2016, Strzok forwarded to Page and others the Wall Street Journal article revealing that Andrew McCabe’s wife had received a half million dollars for her Democratic state senate campaign. Page responded that the article, “shaded or omitted or mischaracterized” facts “in order to get out the story [the reporter] wanted to tell.” She claimed the WSJ story was just “another depressing chapter in this whole post-investigation saga.”

“It is big news that, just days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer pressured the top lawyer for the FBI on the infamous Weiner laptop emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents further underscore that the fix was in for Hillary Clinton. When will the Justice Department and FBI finally do an honest investigation of the Clinton email scandal?”

Last month, United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials — including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, and FBI official E.W. Priestap — will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek 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.

The Only People Actually Conducting A Real Investigation Of Federal Misconduct Are Judicial Watch

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent Freedom of Information Act Request filed by Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch is an impartial government watchdog agency–they have gone after Clintons, Bushes, Obamas, etc.

The article reports:

A conservative watchdog group announced Friday it had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department seeking communications records that relate the FBI’s investigation into whether Hillary and Bill Clinton’s charity organization participated in pay-to-play schemes or other improper behavior with the U.S. government.

The latest lawsuit by Judicial Watch related to the Clintons, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the FBI denied their FOIA request and appeal this fall, targets the offices of prominent Obama-era officials, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Specifically, Judicial Watch demands the DOJ do a search, and “demonstrate that it employed search methods reasonably likely to lead to the discovery,” for “[a]ll records of communication, including but not limited to e-mails (whether sent or received on .gov or non-.gov e-mail accounts), text messages, or instant chats, sent between officials in the offices of the FBI Director, Deputy Director and General Counsel on the one hand, and officials in the offices of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General and or Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General on the other hand, regarding the closure or possible closure of an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.”

The article concludes:

The watchdog also singled out the DOJ inspector general’s report released in April in which McCabe described a “very dramatic” call he had with another high-level department official about the handling of the Clinton Foundation probe. That same inspector general’s report, which led to McCabe’s firing, found McCabe ” lacked candor” on four separate occasions, including three times while under oath, in connection with the disclosure to the Wall Street Journal leak to push back on a report about large donations McCabe’s wife received from Democrats during her bid for the Virginia state Senate — a leak that effectively confirmed the existence of the Clinton Foundation probe.

“The record shows the Obama Justice Department suppressed a public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. “It’s time for the DOJ to stop shielding the Clintons and produce records on this miscarriage of justice.”

It may be that the Clintons are totally innocent of any wrongdoing. However, much of their past behavior definitely calls their honesty into question.

Further Shenanigans In Arizona

Red State Observer recently reported that Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, is investigating illegal aliens voting in Arizona.

The President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton said Over 1,400 voters attempted to register with their alien number.

“Of the 143,542 new voter registrations in Maricopa County, AZ between Jan 1-Sep 25, 2018, 1,470 registrants provided Alien Registration Numbers, meaning they were aliens not eligible to vote: @JudicialWatch investigation,” Fitton tweeted.

Non-citizens should not be voting in our elections. That represents foreign interference in our elections. It needs to be stopped.

Ignoring Government Transparency Rules

The following is a Judicial Watch Press Release dated November 1:

Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed lawsuits regarding the maintenance of text messages as federal records and for records of the audit of communications of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

After the FBI claimed that text messages are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Judicial Watch filed suit to ensure that text messages are being preserved. The new Administrative Procedure Act lawsuit against the FBI challenges the FBI failure to preserve FBI text messages as required by the Federal Records Act. (Judicial Watch v. FBI (No.1:18-cv-02316)).

In its lawsuit Judicial Watch points to a related case in which Michael G. Seidel, the assistant section chief of the Record/Information Dissemination Section in the FBI’s Information Management Division, stated: “text messages on [FBI]-issued devices are not automatically integrated into an FBI records system.” (Danik v. U.S. Department of Justice, (No. 1:17-cv-01792)).

Judicial Watch argued that the FBI “does not have a recordkeeping program in place that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages, including text messages.” Moreover, “The FBI relies upon its personnel to incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system. If FBI personnel do not actively incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system, the text messages are not preserved.”

Judicial Watch asked the court to declare the FBI’s failure to have a recordkeeping program for electronic messages to be “not in accordance with law” and that the court order the FBI “to establish and maintain a recordkeeping program that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages.”

If text messages are not preserved, then they may be deleted and never produced to Congress, criminal investigators, and to the American people under FOIA.

Judicial Watch also filed suit against the Justice Department after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 27, 2018, FOIA request seeking the FBI’s audit records of McCabe’s communications (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02283)).

In 2015, a political action committee run by Terry McAuliffe, a close friend and political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, donated nearly $500,000 to Andrew McCabe’s wife Jill, who was then running for the Virginia State Senate. Also, the Virginia Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe had significant influence, donated an additional $207,788 to the Jill McCabe campaign. In July 2015, Andrew McCabe was in charge of the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office, which provided personnel resources to the Clinton email probe.

In July 2017, Judicial Watch filed three FOIA lawsuits seeking communications between the FBI and McCabe concerning “ethical issues” involving his wife’s political campaign; McCabe’s communications with McAuliffe; and McCabe’s travel vouchers.

Following an Inspector General Report, a grand jury reportedly was impaneled recently to investigate McCabe’s possible role in leaks to the media “to advance his personal interests.”

The FBI has told Judicial Watch that it is under no legal obligation to produce any of Andrew McCabe’s text messages under FOIA, which has attracted criticism from President Trump.

“This lawsuit exposes a massive FBI cover-up of its text messages, which are government records and are, by the thousands, likely to have been deleted and lost by FBI employees,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And of course, this cover-up conveniently impacts the production of text messages to Judicial Watch and Congress of disgraced FBI officials Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and James Comey.”

It is time to uncover the corruption in the FBI during the Obama administration. The FBI should be subject to FOIA requests.

The Truth Is Still Leaking Out

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the cover-up by the State Department of both information surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private server and information regarding the attack at Benghazi.

The article reports:

In a combative exchange at a hearing Friday in Washington, D.C., a federal judge unabashedly accused career State Department officials of lying and signing “clearly false” affidavits to derail a series of lawsuits seeking information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server and her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth also said he was “shocked” and “dumbfounded” when he learned that FBI had granted immunity to former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills during its investigation into the use of Clinton’s server, according to a court transcript of his remarks.

“I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in — by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case,” Lamberth said during the hearing.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General (IG), Michael Horowitz, noted in a bombshell report in June that it was “inconsistent with typical investigative strategy” for the FBI to allow Mills to sit in during the agency’s interview of Clinton during the email probe, given that classified information traveled through Mills’ personal email account. “[T]here are serious potential ramifications when one witness attends another witness’ interview,” the IG wrote.

The article notes that the Judge did not know that Cheryl Mills had been granted immunity.

The article continues:

The transparency group Judicial Watch initially sued the State Department in 2014, seeking information about the response to the Benghazi attack after the government didn’t respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Other parallel lawsuits by Judicial Watch are probing issues like Clinton’s server, whose existence was revealed during the course of the litigation.

The State Department had immediately moved to dismiss Judicial Watch’s first lawsuit on a motion for summary judgment, saying in an affidavit that it had conducted a search of all potentially relevant emails in its possession and provided them. The affidavit noted that some more documents and emails could be forthcoming.

But Lamberth denied the request to dismiss the lawsuit at the time — and on Friday, he said he was happy he did, charging that State Department officials had intentionally misled him because other key documents, including those on Clinton’s email server, had not in fact been produced.

“It was clear to me that at the time that I ruled initially, that false statements were made to me by career State Department officials, and it became more clear through discovery that the information that I was provided was clearly false regarding the adequacy of the search and this – what we now know turned out to be the Secretary’s email system,” Lamberth said Friday.

Please follow the link to read the entire article, which includes the transcript of the hearing.

How Do You Acquire A Net Worth Of $80 Million While Making $174,000 A Year?

Although the information about to be shared deals with only one person, the story is not unique. I am posting this example because it was very easily researched. More diligent research could probably find at least fifty more examples of what I am about to illustrate.

The following was posted by a Facebook friend today:

THE TRUTH ABOUT FEINSTEIN
The US has entered into a contract with a real estate firm to sell 56 buildings that currently house U.S. Post Offices. All 56 were built, operated, and paid for by tax-paying American citizens. Now enjoy reading the rest: The government has decided it no longer needs these buildings, most of which are located on prime land in towns and cities across the country.

The sale of these properties will fetch about$19 billion!

A regular real estate commission will be paid to the company that was given the exclusive listing for handling the sales. That company is CRI and it belongs to a man named Richard Blum.

Richard Blum is the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein!(Most voters and many of the government people who approved the deal have not made the connection between the two because they have different last names).

Senator Feinstein and her husband stand to make a fortune, estimated at between $950 million and $1.1 BILLION from these transactions!

His company is the sole real estate agent on the sale!

CRI will be making a minimum of 2% and as much as 6% commission on each and every sale. All of the properties that are being sold are all fully paid for. They were purchased with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars.

The U.S.P.S. is allowed free and clear, tax exempt use. The only cost to keep them open is the cost to actually keep the doors open and the heat and lights on. The United States Postal Service doesn’t even have to pay county property taxes on these subject properties. QUESTION? Would you put your house in foreclosure just because you couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill?

Well, the folks in Washington have given the Post Office the OK to do it! Worse yet, most of the net proceeds of the sales will go back to the U.S.P.S, an organization that is so poorly managed that they have lost $117 billion dollars in the past 10 years!

No one in the mainstream media is even raising an eyebrow over the conflict of interest and on the possibility of corruption on the sale of billions of dollars worth of public assets.

How does a U.S. Senator from San Francisco manage to get away with organizing and lobbying such a sweet deal ? Has our government become so elitist that they have no fear of oversight?

It’s no mere coincidence that these two public service crooks have different last names; a feeble attempt at avoiding transparency in these type of transactions.

Pass this info on before it’s pulled from the Internet. You can verify it on TruthorFiction and Snopes:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/…/Blum-Post-Office-Sale-06101…

http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/blum.asp

If this doesn’t upset you, don’t complain about the corruption and the ineptness in D.C.

It didn’t take a lot of research to verify most of this. I found a few interesting tidbits. Snopes describes the claims as ‘mixed.’ In case you are not aware, Snopes has a bit of a mixed record itself.

From a website called The New American:

It’s unfortunate that Snopes didn’t dig any further into the matter. It could have, for instance, sourced an 11-page exposé of Blum and Feinstein published by the online site FoundSF entitled “Richard C. Blum and Dianne Feinstein: The Power Couple of California.” There Snopes would have found how this couple, through a continuing series of events that could only be called crony capitalism on steroids, grew their wealth, starting in 1980 when they were married, from a modest sum to well over $100 million.

In that exposé they would have uncovered another source, this time from the Los Angeles Times, which noted the couple’s illicit activities from the beginning:

A review of the senator’s first two years in office found that Feinstein supported several positions that benefited Blum, his wealthy clients and their investments. She was a vocal proponent of increased trade with China while Blum’s firm was planning a major investment there. She also voted for appropriations bills that provided more than $100 million a year in federal funds to three companies in which her husband is a substantial investor.

Visiting the Times article would have led them to another source that explained in detail her votes as head of the Military Construction Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee (MILCON), which funneled $1.5 billion worth of military construction contracts to URS Corporation, an engineering, design, and construction company located (where else?) in San Francisco — in which Blum had a significant financial interest. Her committee also funneled millions into Tutor Perini, one of the largest general contractors in the country, also located in California, and in which Blum also had a significant financial interest. When Blum sold his interests in URS and Tutor Perini, he booked profits estimated at between $5 and $10 million.

Another example from Breitbart:

On April 21, 2009, the Washington Times broke an exclusive story that Feinstein proposed legislation to direct $25 billion in taxpayer money to the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation

The alleged Blum connection was that the FDIC had just awarded Blum’s real estate firm a profitable contract to resell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms. 

According to the Washington Times, “Mrs. Feinstein’s intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn’t a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments–not direct federal dollars.”

Documents obtained by the newspaper exposed that Feinstein had sent a letter to the FDIC on October 30, 2008 offering to help it secure funds to help them stave off ensuing foreclosures. 

That letter was sent only a few days before CB Richard Ellis Group (the commercial real estate firm that Blum serves as board chairman) had won a contract to sell foreclosed properties that FDIC was taking on from failed banks. 

According to Weiss, “this is an allegation that has totally been discredited.” 

Feinstein’s explanation was that the senator simply introduced legislation to allocate $25 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2009 because California had the third highest number of foreclosures in the nation.  

“Senator Feinstein learned of FDIC Chair Sheila Bair’s proposal for foreclosure relief from news reports, expressed her support in a letter, and introduced legislation to implement it,” Weiss wrote to Breitbart News. “She was unaware of CBRE’s bid for an FDIC contract so it clearly played no role in her decision to introduce legislation. The Inspector General at the FDIC reviewed this and concluded there was ‘no improper influence’ in the awarding of the contract.” 

LaJuan Williams-Young, a spokeswoman for the FDIC, declined to explain why CBRE was chosen and instead simply defended the agency: “There are four other contractors that perform similar work for the Corporation.”

According to Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to monitoring Washington ethics, Feinstein’s explanation isn’t adequate. He says that neither the FDIC nor MILCON connections pass muster under the U.S. Senate Ethics Rules or the U.S. Criminal Code.

“In these cases, she was voting on bills that ultimately benefited her husband’s companies . . . she knew, everyone knew what would come out of those bills, and at the least she should have known where that money could have gone, and that simply doesn’t stand scrutiny.” 

When asked about Feinstein and her husband benefitting from all of these contracts as well as the FDIC legislation, Weiss simply responded, “All items referred to above are Richard Blum’s separate property relating to his business . . . Senator Feinstein is not involved with and does not discuss any of her husband’s business decisions.” 

Blicksilver mirrored Weiss’ response, saying that, “Blum Capital Partners has a strict confidentiality policy which Mr. Blum and other members of the firm adhere to. As such, he does not discuss the Firm’s investments with the Senator.” 

Not only does it pay to be a Senator, it pays to be married to one.

This is only one example of the swamp in Washington that needs to be cleared out.

This Is Not The America Most Of Us Want

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

‘[N]o such hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged FISA applications. Accordingly, no responsive hearing transcripts exist.’

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.

In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:

[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.

The Department of Justice previously released to Judicial Watch the heavily redacted Page warrant applications. The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.

The DOJ filing is in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).

In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.

“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.”

This is a blatant example of using the apparatus of the government to spy on a political opponent. It is illegal and should result in jail time for those involved. To let this go unpunished means that it will be acceptable behavior in the future. We are in danger of losing our country to a group of elites who have no respect for either the law or the voters.

I’m Not Sure The Editorial Was A Good Idea

Townhall.com posted an article today that sheds a little more light on the firing on Andrew McCabe. As usual, there was more to the story than we were initially told. It should also be noted that his wife, Jill, recently posted an editorial in The Washington Post stating that there was not conflict of interest on his part because of her Senate campaign.

The article reminds us of Mrs. McCabe’s claim:

His wife, Jill, a doctor, penned an op-ed in The Post about her failed 2015 Virginia Senate run and how there was no conflict of interest. There have been allegations that McCabe’s donations from pro-Clinton Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s PAC during that run, which exceeded $400,000, was a sort of down payment for political protection since soon after her campaign ended, Mr. McCabe became deputy director, where one of his tasks was to oversee the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email fiasco…

The editorial was a preemptive strike. The Townhall article cites a Judicial Watch report that states:

The documents also show repeated use of the official FBI email system in connection with Mrs. McCabe’s political campaign. For example:

On March 13, 2015, Mrs. McCabe emails to her husband’s official FBI email account a draft press release announcing her run for state Senate.

In August 2015, McCabe uses his official FBI email account to advise a redacted recipient to visit his wife’s campaign website: “Jill has been busy as hell since she decided to run for VA state senate (long story). Check her out on Facebook as Dr. Jill McCabe for Senate.”

On November 2, 2015, Mrs. McCabe forwards an email to her husband – then the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Office – that accuses her opponent of extorting local businessmen. The email was sent to her husband’s official FBI account.

The documents include an October 2016 letter from House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz to McCabe questioning a possible conflict of interest by noting that Clinton headlined a Virginia fundraiser on June 26, 2015, for Mrs. McCabe. “A significant amount was donated after the FBI had initiated its investigation and begun meeting with Secretary Clinton’s attorneys in August 2015.”

The documents also show that FBI leadership was sensitive to reports of FBI internal dissent with then-Director Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation. On October 24, 2016, Mrs. McCabe forwarded to Director McCabe a True Pundit article titled, “FBI Director Lobbied Against Criminal Charges For Hillary After Clinton Insider Paid His Wife $700,00.” The story reported that former FBI Executive Assistant Director John Giacalone resigned in the middle of the Clinton email investigation because he saw it going “sideways” and that Jill McCabe received money from a PAC headed by McAuliffe, who was under investigation by the FBI for campaign finance law violations. McCabe forwarded the article to Comey, noting “FYI. Heavyweight source.” Comey replied to McCabe, copying Chief of Staff James Rybicki, saying, “This still reads to me like someone not involved in the investigation at all, maybe somebody who heard rumors …”

“These new documents show that the FBI leadership was politicized and compromised in its handling of the Clinton email investigation,” said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch President. “It well past time for a do-over on the Clinton emails that requires a new, honest criminal investigation of her misconduct.”

So now we know that McCabe lied to the FBI, violated the Hatch Act, and was probably totally compromised in his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. I guess there were sufficient reasons to fire him.

The Biggest Scandal The Media Is Ignoring

The Daily Caller has been following the Democrat House IT scandal for quite some time. Other media is totally ignoring it. On August 17, Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi, were indicted. Both were information technology staffers who worked for Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other Democrat congressmen. Judicial Watch has also been following the case closely and seeking information.

Yesterday there was a discussion of the scandal among Congressional House Members where Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch appeared as a witness. I have posted the video below. It is long, but worth watching. It is currently available on YouTube.

 

There are a few points noted in the video that are significant.

  1. Imran Awan was arrested on charges of bank fraud, but that is only a small part of the story.
  2. Mr. Awan and a number of members of his family were employed by multiple Congressmen. When Mr. Awan reached the salary cap for his job, he would hire another family member. This continued, evidently with little regard to the computer skills of the hired family member.
  3. Mr. Awan at one point set up an alias account that allowed him to access Congressional servers after he was denied access. At one point after he was denied access, a significant data download occurred under his alias account. Mr. Awan claimed that the data download was his elementary school child’s homework, but the download involved thousands of pages. Most elementary school homework does not involve thousands of pages. It was also noted that the size of the data breach was such that it could not have been done over the internet—it had to be done using a thumb drive or similar piece of equipment.
  4. It is quite possible that the leakage of information regarding the Democratic National Committee came from Mr. Awan. At the time Mr. Awan was employed by Representative Wasserman-Schultz, she was chairman of Democratic National Committee.

The Daily Caller reports the following:

You would think that House Republican leaders would give the Awan mess a much bigger stage. This GOP disinterest is the biggest mystery of all. The media and Democrats in Congress created a frenzy over vague accusations that Russia interfered with last year’s presidential election. They were always short on specifics, but they did have one, the publication of Wasserman-Schultz’ emails by WikiLeaks.

Then came along the reports that the Awans had access to all of the electronic data for a score of Democrats, including members of the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees. Imran Awan is even alleged to have the password to Wasserman-Schultz’ iPad. Maybe the Wasserman-Schultz emails didn’t come from the Russians as Wikileaks has always maintained, or if they did, perhaps they were first stolen by someone else.

…There is no indication that the Ethics Committee, chaired by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), is doing anything about the Awans, even when story after story appears about their outside businesses and scams, the income from which was not reported on their disclosure forms. These reporting violations are not the Awans’ most serious transgressions, but they provide Republicans with a thread on which to start pulling and an opportunity to raise the profile of the entire affair.

They do not have to defer to investigations by the FBI, the Capitol Police or anyone else. If they were serious about the task, they could proceed on every possible front, much like the Democrats have done on the Russia allegations.

I understand that media bias may be preventing this story from being told, but shouldn’t the media have enough interest in their own self-preservation to realize that this may be a serious national security issue. The Republicans also need to understand that this is a serious issue that they also need to address. Why was oversight on the information technology people in the House of Representatives so poor that Mr. Awan was allowed to add family members at will when he reached his salary cap? It may be time to vote everyone even remotely involved in this scandal and everyone who ignored the growing scandal out of office. This is the swamp.

Is The Department Of Justice Just?

The following statement was posted at Judicial Watch yesterday:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the  Department of Justice’s decision not to bring charges against Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, whose own emails place her at the heart of the politicization of the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups:

I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.

Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public.  An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations.  The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference.  The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lerner were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems.  Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents.  Judicial Watch exposed various IRS record keeping problems:

  • In June 2014the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
  • In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner.  This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
  • In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admit in a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
  • In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.

Obama IRS Commissioner Koskinen was nearly impeached in September 2016 for misleading Congress on Lerner’s emails.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) clearly violated the free speech rights of American citizens because the Obama Administration wanted to silence their views. This is a serious affront to our representative republic and should not go unpunished. Attempting to use the IRS for political purposes was one of the items of impeachment drawn up against President Richard Nixon. Has the Justice Department forgotten what the law is? If so, it is time for a new Justice Department.

If I Break The Law, Does Someone Have To Care In Order For Me To Be Arrested?

The Gateway Pundit posted an amazing story yesterday.

The story included the following:

 

You have got to be kidding. The FBI has denied lawyer Ty Clevenger’s request to obtain documents related to Hillary Clinton’s email probe. The reason given? A “lack of public interest.”

 

Amazing.

The story is based on a Washington Times story.

This is the basic timeline of the story:

Conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch announced that on August 8, 2017, D.C. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta ordered the State Department “to search the state.gov e-mail accounts of Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jacob Sullivan” for emails relating to the Benghazi scandal.

This is a major victory. The truth will prevail.

Judge Mehta described Judicial Watch’s Clinton Benghazi FOIA lawsuit as “a far cry from a typical FOIA case. Secretary Clinton used a private e-mail server, located in her home, to transmit and receive work-related communications during her tenure as Secretary of State.” Further:

[I]f an e-mail did not involve any state.gov user, the message would have passed through only the Secretary’s private server and, therefore, would be beyond the immediate reach of State. Because of this circumstance, unlike the ordinary case, State could not look solely to its own records systems to adequately respond to [Judicial Watch’s] demand. [The State Department] has not, however, searched the one records system over which it has always had control and that is almost certain to contain some responsive records: the state.gov e-mail server. If Secretary Clinton sent an e-mail about Benghazi to Abedin, Mills, or Sullivan at his or her state.gov e-mail address, or if one of them sent an e-mail to Secretary Clinton using his or her state.gov account, then State’s server presumably would have captured and stored such an e-mail. Therefore, State has an obligation to search its own server for responsive records.State has offered no assurance that the three record compilations it received [from Secretary Clinton and her aides], taken together, constitute the entirety of Secretary Clinton’s e-mails during the time period relevant to Plaintiff’s FOIA Request. Absent such assurance, the court is unconvinced “beyond material doubt” that a search of the state.gov accounts of Abedin, Mills and Sullivan is “unlikely to produce any marginal return.”

President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton said about this new federal court order, “This major court ruling may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it – as we approach the attack’s fifth anniversary. It is remarkable that we had to battle both the Obama and Trump administrations to break through the State Department’s Benghazi stonewall. Why are Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions wasting taxpayer dollars protecting Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration?”

Why is the FBI protecting Hillary Clinton? Do we need a new FBI? A new Attorney General? If nothing else, the mishandling of classified information is a crime, punishable by fines, jail time, and loss of security clearances. Why hasn’t that at least been prosecuted? Obviously the swamp in Washington is deeper than anyone imagined. Someone has to have the courage to step forward and expose what is going on behind the scenes.

The Student Loan Problem Gets More Interesting

On March 20, 2017, Judicial Watch reported the following:

Judicial Watch announced that it today filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Education seeking records relating to then Obama administration’s “coding error” that resulted in masking that most borrowers are failing to pay down their federally-subsidized student loans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Education (No. 1:17-cv-00501)).

The Obama administration’s Obamacare legislation also included provisions that resulted in the federal takeover of the student loan industry, which radically increased taxpayer subsidies of higher education loans.

The Education Department acknowledged in early January that the coding error resulted in wildly inaccurate College Scorecard repayment rates. The significance is substantial, according to The Wall Street Journal:

The department played down the mistake, but the new average three-year repayment rate has declined by 20 percentage points to 46%. This is huge. It means that fewer than half of undergraduate borrowers at the average college are paying down their debt.

***

Last month the Government Accountability Office (GAO) projected that loan forgiveness for borrowers enrolled in the plans could cost upward of $108 billion. GAO rapped the department for underestimating the costs due to “insufficient quality controls” and “unreasonable assumptions.” It’s possible the putative “coding error” is connected to this ill-management.

As the Journal notes, “The other scandal is that the Obama Administration used the inflated Scorecard repayment data as a pretext to single out for-profit colleges for punitive regulation.”

Judicial Watch filed today’s lawsuit after the department failed to respond to a January 29, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • Any records concerning the coding error in the calculation of repayment rate data contained in the College Scorecard, as disclosed on January 13, 2017. . . . Requested records include, but are not limited to, records identifying causes of the coding error and steps taken to correct the error, communications within [the Education Department] regarding the error, communications with third parties concerning the error, and records relating to the public announcement of the error.

“The government-run student loan racket is a disaster for taxpayers and has been abused to target for-profit competitors of liberal-controlled ‘public’ universities,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Trump administration should quickly respond to our FOIA lawsuit about this scandal.  The Trump administration has an opportunity to drain the swamp in higher education by exposing the truth about their expensive taxpayer subsidies.”

Is This Important? Why Or Why Not?

I have actually attempted to avoid writing about Hillary Clinton’s emails. However, when new information comes out, I feel obligated to say something. One recent bit of new information is the State Department Inspector General‘s report on Secretary of State Clinton’s email server.

On Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times posted an article about Mrs. Clinton’s email server that included the following:

Clinton has long said she used a personal email server solely as a matter of “convenience.” But the result wasn’t very convenient; because of State Department spam filters, Clinton’s emails weren’t getting through to her own department. According to the report, when an aide proposed giving her a government email address, Clinton agreed, but added: “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

Clinton has emphasized that the law did not prohibit her from using personal email for official business – and that’s true. But the inspector general notes that State Department rules required her to get permission to use a personal server, and she never complied.

And Clinton has said she turned over all her business-related emails as soon as the State Department asked for them. The inspector general says her submission of documents was “incomplete” and later than the law requires.

On May 28, The Washington Post reported:

Clinton initially sought to downplay the report as old news. “It’s the same story,” she told Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas. “Just like previous secretaries of state, I used a personal email. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented.

Except that it was. While other secretaries of state had used personal email addresses, none of them had exclusively done so. And as Helderman and Hamburger noted, the State Department IG report scolded Clinton not only for using the email address exclusively but also for slow-walking the release of those emails to the State Department.

Judicial Watch recently posted a download of an education panel they hosted on March 23 about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Judicial Watch is an organization that has been working toward more transparent government for a number of years. They have held both Republican and Democratic administrations accountable. Their panel included Jason Leopold, an investigative reporter for Vice News, Joe diGenova, attorney and former U.S. attorney, Dan Metcalfe, head of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy for the AU law school; a non-partisan educational project devoted to openness in government, freedom of information, government transparency, and a study of government secrecy in the United States and internationally, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, and Michael Bekesha, an attorney for Judicial Watch.

The report is twenty-four pages long. Here is one excerpt:

Joe diGenova stated: 

I believe Mrs. Clinton decided from the beginning of her tenure as a constitutional officer — she is a constitutional officer — that she would procure a server with the assistance of the State Department, including having them install it in her home in Chappaqua. When she did that, Chappaqua became the State Department. Those records were in fact in the possession of the United States government at that point. I am going to be fascinated by the argument she is going to make that they were not. She moved the secretary’s office from Foggy Bottom to Chappaqua. There is simply no disputing that. She made a decision that her business would be conducted on that server. That was her decision. It wasn’t anybody else’s decision. When she did that, she transferred federal records into that house and into that server. They may very well argue whatever they want to argue about it, but I think they are going to have a really tough time convincing anybody those were not government records from day one in her possession in that place. What is crucial, is that nobody knows what she ordered deleted. Her representations are irrelevant. They mean nothing. They are of limited evidentiary value, given the scheme that was worked out here to deny access and to deny information.

It does matter that Mrs. Clinton used a private server. The server was not encrypted, and many people who understand computers have stated that it would have been very easy to hack into that server. On May 25th, NBC News reported that Guccifer, a known hacker, claimed that he had broken into Mrs. Clinton’s server. That has not yet been proven, so we will wait for further news.

If you check the sources on this story, you will see that this is not simply the right-wing press reporting on Hillary Clinton’s emails. There is a genuine problem here, and the truth matters. This story shouldn’t be about the election, but because Mrs. Clinton is running for President, it seems to be that way. The story is actually about whether or not all Americans are treated equally under the law. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen.