Category Archives: Russia and the 2016 election

Trump 100% vindicated: AG William Barr’s letter to Congress on Mueller Report

After two years and $25 million of taxpayer dollars, the long-awaited Mueller report was delivered to Attorney General William Barr last Friday, March 22, 2019.

The report finds no Trump/Russia collusion nor that President Trump committed crimes. Of course, that won’t stop the Demon Party from undertaking yet more investigations, which some leading Demonrats are already vowing.

The Mueller Report is not yet made public, but below is AG Barr’s summary letter of the report’s “principal conclusions” to the chairmen (Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Jerrold Nadler) and ranking members (Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Doug Collins) of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.

I had a hell of time finding the letter in text format to copy and post here. You can also read the letter in PDF here.

The Attorney General

Washington, DC.
March 24, 2019

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member
Collins:

As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.

The Special Counsel’s Report

On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 CPR. This report is entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.

The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel’s report.

Russian Interference in the 2016 US. Presidential Election. The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans including individuals associated with the Trump campaign joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”¹

_________________

¹In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign “coordinated” with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined “coordination” as an agreement — tacit or express — between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.

_________________

The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.

The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.

Obstruction of Justice. The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President most of which have been the subject of public reporting that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.2

_________________

² See A Sitting President’s Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C. 222 (2000).

_________________

In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public View, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.

Status of the Department’s Review

The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a “confidential report” to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038, 37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to “matter[s] occurring before [a] grand jury.” Fed. R. Crim. P. Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6(e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e. g. 18 U.S.C. 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.

Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

* * *

As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of” notifications to your respective Committees “would be in the public interest.” 28 CPR. I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.

Sincerely,

William P. Barr
Attorney General

~Eowyn

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Happy Sunday: Mueller report finds no Trump/Russia collusion nor that President Trump committed crimes

Breaking report from Twitchy. There is a tweet in the Twitchy link to the letter that the DoJ sent to the Judiciary Committee.

There was never a doubt in my mind that President Trump colluded or committed a crime. I did doubt whether or not Mueller could complete an unbiased investigation.

And now we know.

Happy Sunday demorats!

DCG

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New Zealand mosque shootings: the John Podesta connection

On March 14, 2019, New Zealand sustained its deadliest mass shootings in modern history when a gunman, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, killed 50 people and injured another 50 at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The media immediately identified Tarrant as that most noxious of all monsters — “an alt-right affiliated white supremacist”. (Wikipedia)

Strangely, there is a John Podesta connection to the New Zealand mosque shooting.

John Podesta, 70, is a major Democrat Party honcho. He was:

  • Bill Clinton’s White House chief-of-staff.
  • Barack Obama’s White House advisor.
  • Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman.

Here are his connections to the Christchurch mosque shootings:

(1) John Podesta just happened to be in New Zealand 5 days before the mosque shootings.

To begin, New Zealand is enmeshed with the U.S. Deep State, being a member of the Five Eyes spy network — a powerful intelligence club made up of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

As reported by MSN.news on March 10, 2019, Podesta was in New Zealand for a Global Progressives event. He was interviewed on TV by a pliant and fawning Newshub political correspondent, Tova O’Brien, who extolls Podesta as “one of the most powerful in U.S. Democratic politics” and “someone who understands too well the influence and damage hacking and fake news can do.”.

Promoting the Russian election-meddling meme that Democrats never tire of, Podesta said he agrees with New Zealand intelligence’s warning to Parliament last month that their election is also vulnerable to a serious cyber attack from Russia and China. Podesta said:

“Vladimir Putin must be sitting in the Kremlin saying this is the best return on investment I ever got – I’ve got a pliant president of the United States. I’d say very worried. I don’t see why they couldn’t do it. And there are other state actors as well. There are other actors in the region including China that may have a high degree of interest in being able to penetrate what the private conversations of people in NZ politics and NZ Government are looking at.”

Calling the country a “juicier target”, Podesta said New Zealand should guard against hacked information being weaponised as fake news: “What’s new is this weaponisation – the use of social media to spread discord, lies, dissatisfaction – that’s I think what you’ve got to look out for.”

To watch the interview, go here.

(2) The same symbols on Podesta’s palms were painted on mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant’s semi-automatic gun.

The (UK) Sun reports, March 15, 2019, that “Crazed Brenton Tarrant scrawled the names of modern terrorists, ancient military commanders and far-right symbols on his guns and magazines of ammunition before going on a rampage in New Zealand,” including the words “For Rotherham” — an apparent reference to the paedophile ring run by British-Pakistani men in the Yorkshire town in recent decades.

What The Sun missed are two other symbols painted in white on Tarrant’s semi-automatic gun: that of a fish and the number 14.

Below is a pic of the gun. I painted the red circles around the two symbols.

Where have we seen the fish symbol and number 14 before?

On John Podesta’s palms! (H/t tweeter Jordan Sather)

In December 2016, I did a post on just that: “Those cryptic markings on John Podesta’s palms“.

While there may be an innocent explanation for the no. 14 and fish markings on Podesta’s palms, some see an occultic meaning. Whatever the meaning of the two symbols, it is curious, to say the least, that the perpetrator of the deadliest mass shootings in modern New Zealand history just happens to sport the same symbols on his semi-automatic gun.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Democrats on House Intelligence Committee took down FISA memo

On February 2, 2018, the House Intelligence Committee (HIC) released the notorious FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ) memo after President Trump declassified it.

The memo says:

  • The Obama Administration’s FBI and DOJ used the unverified and wholly fictitious Russian dossier to successfully obtain from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court surveillance warrants on Trump and members of his campaign team — which makes the surveillance UNLAWFUL and ILLEGAL.

Note: The Russian dossier, including the wholly fictitious “golden shower” account, was concocted by ex-MI6 spook Christopher Steele, who was hired by “opposition research” company Fusion GPS that, in turn, had been commissioned by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

  • Senior law enforcement officials testified during a closed classified session to the HIC, that without the unsubstantiated and wholly-ficitious “Russian dossier” on then-candidate Donald Trump, they would not have been able to obtain at least one surveillance warrant for a member of the Trump campaign.
  • The Obama Administration used Fusion GPS and Steele as part of an active campaign to “brief” (i.e., lie) major media outlets.
  • Steele was no impartial researcher. In September 2016, Steele said to then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

But after Americans elected Democrats to a majority in the House of Representatives in last year’s midterm elections, the House Intelligence Committee, with crazy-eye Adam Schiff (D-CA) as chair, has taken down the FISA memo.

The link to the FISA memo on the House Intelligence Committee website now leads to a blank page. See for yourself: https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/memo_and_white_house_letter.pdf

Fortunately, netizens had saved and uploaded the FISA memo to ScribD, and I’ve saved it to FOTM.

Here’s the 4-page FISA memo:

See also “Rep. Devin Nunes is preparing criminal referrals re. FBI & FISA to Attorney General Barr“.

~Eowyn

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Rep. Devin Nunes is preparing criminal referrals re. FBI & FISA to Attorney General Barr

Is this another false hope?

A criminal referral or recommendation is a notice to a prosecutory body, recommending criminal investigation or prosecution of one or more entities for crimes which fall into that body’s jurisdiction.

In the U.S. federal government, agencies that investigate crimes — including the House Intelligence Committee — typically refer cases to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution at its discretion. The U.S. attorney general heads the DOJ.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), 45, is a farmer with a Master’s degree in agriculture from Cal Poly, who became a politician. His grandparents were immigrants from the Azores, a tiny group of islands more than 800 miles off the coast of Portugal. (See “The Devin Nunes You Don’t Know“)

Nunes is that rare politician who has not sought to exploit his public office for financial gain. Unlike corrupt politicians like Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee with a 2015 net worth of $3.5 million, Nunes’ net worth in 2016 and 2015 was estimated at only $158,001. (Heavy.com)

Congressman Nunes was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee for four years until January 3, 2019. He lost the chairmanship because Americans in the 2018 midterm elections voted a Democratic majority to the House of Representatives. Since then, Nunes still serves on the committee as the senior Republican.

On January 30, 2019, during an interview on Fox News, Nunes said he plans to make criminal referrals as part of an investigation into political bias in the FBI, and that even though he is no longer chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Democrats have taken control of the House and the committee, that won’t stop GOP investigators from making headway:

“A lot of people think just because Republicans are out of power that we are not conducting an investigation. We still are. Whether or not people will come in and interview with us, we don’t have gavels, we don’t have subpoena power. But we will still be trying to interview people and we will still be making criminal referrals.”

One person who has already been criminally referred to the Justice Department was former UK spook Christopher Steele, the  author of the fake “Russian hooker” Trump dossier. Steele was criminally referred in January 2018 by then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and now-committee chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who succeeded Grassley.

Nunes said on January 30 that to this day Congress has not heard any updates from the DOJ on the Steele referral. Referring to Trump’s AG nominee William Barr, Nunes said it will take a new attorney general to come in and “clean” up before any real progress can be made. (Washington Examiner)

On February 14, 2019, Trump nominee William Barr succeeded Jeff Sessions as the 85th U.S. attorney general.

See Deplorable Patriot’s post, “Attorney General William Barr jumps into the fire“.

On March 1, 2019, at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), Nunes told OANN (0:30 mark):

“We’re still continuing to get to the bottom of what was happening to the Department of Justice and the FBI, trying to make sure that everyone there is held accountable…either through the courts or otherwise…. We’ll be making criminal referrals on a whole host of topics, most importantly probably lying and misleading Congress.”

Five days later, on March 6, 2019, Nunes once again said he’ll be making criminal referrals. He told Fox News’ Sean Hannity (0:03 mark):

We are preparing a criminal referral that we will present to the attorney general at the appropriate time…for many crimes. The obvious ones that you would know about would be lying to Congress. But we will also be looking at FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] abuse and all the other matters that we have been looking into. It will probably be one large referral….

We’re probably going to be prepared in the next two to three, four weeks — one of the things that’s coming up. So don’t mind all the shiny balls that you see running around Congress here — the so-called new investigations [by current House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA)]. Just ignore that.

What you should be out looking for is next week. On March 14, the federal judge down in Florida has ordered the release of depositions by Christopher Steele, who is supposedly the author of the dossier, and David Kramer, who pled the Fifth to this committee. who we know was handling and moving the dossier around to press outlets…. We [House Intelligence Commitee] had not ever interviewed Christopher Steele, and we don’t know what David Kramer would say because he pled the Fifth. So this could be critical. It may be nothing, but it could be critical for our referral. “

Note: David J. Kramer was nominated by President George W. Bush to be U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, which he was from 2008 to January 20, 2009. Kramer is currently the senior director for human rights and human freedoms at the (John) McCain Institute, which is funded by the Saudis, Rothschilds, and George Soros. Kramer is a central player in how the fake Trump dossier made its way to the FBI in late 2016. He has invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in connection with questions from the House Intelligence Committee about the anti-Trump dossier’s alleged Russian sources. (Fox News)

Sean Hannity said at the end of his interview with Rep. Nunes (2:16 mark):

“Finally, things are happening, which I’ve been telling you it will.”

Do you believe, too, that things are finally happening?

See also:

~Eowyn

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Top FBI lawyer James Baker flips; says Russia investigation politically biased

The White House insider known as Q or Q Anon has been hinting at an imminent political turning point he calls “Red October”.

Yesterday afternoon came news that the FBI has completed investigating Brett Kavanaugh, the agency’s 7th investigation of the judge, and a full Senate vote is expected this weekend.

Today was the deadline for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to hand in McCabe, FISA and Russian investigation documents subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee.

Add this to hopeful signs of a “Red October”.

Catherine Herridge reports for Fox News that former top FBI lawyer James Baker gave “explosive” closed-door testimony yesterday, Oct. 3, detailing for congressional investigators how Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe was handled in an “abnormal fashion” reflecting “political bias,” according to two Republican lawmakers present for the deposition — Rep. Mark Meadows (North Carolina) and Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio).

James A. Baker, who as General Counsel of the FBI had a close working relationship with former FBI Director James Comey and was a recipient of at least one Comey memo, resigned from the bureau in May this year.

Meadows and Jordan would not provide many specifics about the private transcribed interview of James Baker, citing a confidentiality agreement with Baker and his attorneys. However, the two Congressmen indicated in broad terms that Baker was cooperative and forthcoming about the genesis of the Russia case in 2016, and about the FISA surveillance warrant application for Trump campaign aide Carter Page in October 2016.

Rep. Mark Meadows said, “Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature. This witness [Baker] confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That’s extremely troubling.” Indeed, Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who opened the Russia case, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others had sent politically charged texts, and have since left the bureau.

Rep. Jim Jordan said, “During the time that…DOJ and FBI were putting together the FISA (surveillance warrant)…prior to the election — there was another source giving information directly to the FBI, which we found the source to be pretty explosive.”

Meadows and Jordan would not elaborate on the source, or answer questions about whether the source was a reporter. They did stress that the source who provided information to the FBI’s Russia case was not previously known to congressional investigators.

Baker is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week’s planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Baker, as the FBI’s top lawyer, helped secure the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Page, as well as three subsequent renewals. Prior to the deposition, Republican investigators said they believed Baker could explain why information about Christopher Steele (the British ex-spy behind the concocted Trump-“golden shower” dossier) and Steele’s apparent bias against then-candidate Trump, was withheld from the FISA court, and whether other exculpatory information was known to Rosenstein when he signed the final FISA renewal for Page in June 2017.

For his part, Rosenstein is expected on Capitol Hill on Oct. 11 for a closed-door interview. It comes after the New York Times reported last month that he’d discussed secretly recording President Trump in order to remove him from office using the 25th Amendment.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday the meeting between Rosenstein and President Trump remains in limbo: “If there’s a meeting, we’ll let you know. But at this point, they continue to work together and both show up every day and do their jobs.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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House Judiciary Committee subpoenas AG Sessions for McCabe, FISA and Russian investigation documents

A week ago on September 27, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) subpoenaed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for three documents. The deadline for Sessions to produce those documents is tomorrow.

In his letter notifying Sessions of the subpoena, Goodlatte wrote:

Given the [Justice] Department’s ongoing delays and/or refusal to produce these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel their production.

The Subpoena states that on October 4, 2018, at 12:00 p.m., Sessions is “hereby commanded to be and appear before the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives” to produce three documents “in un-redacted form”:

(1) The McCabe Memos: “All documents and communications” written by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe “to memorialize discussions, meetings, or correspondence he had with senior government officials, including the President of the United States.

The McCabe Memos include:

  • Real-time debriefs from former FBI Director James Comey after his meetings with Trump.
  • A memo on the May 16, 2017 meeting where Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein allegedly suggested he would wear a wire to secretly tape President Trump, which would then be used to enlist Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. McCabe and former FBI counsel Lisa Page were among several people in the room. (Fox News)

Note: Michael Bromwich, who is now an attorney representing Christine Blasey Ford, Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, was Andrew McCabe’s attorney.

(2) The Woods File: includes (a) the application for a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) order authorizing surveillance on Carter Page; and (b) “any document concerning or relating to any attempt to verify the accuracy of any alleged facts stated in the FISA applications for Mr. Page.”

Carter Page is a petroleum industry consultant and a former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He has been a focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation into alleged links between Trump and Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

(3) Russian interference: “All documents and communications shared with the Gang of Eight in May 2018 related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

On May 24, 2018, FBI and Justice Department officials briefed the bipartisan group of lawmakers known as the “Gang of 8” on classified documents related to Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation. The “Gang of 8” are:

  1. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
  2. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader.
  3. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  4. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader.
  5. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Speaker.
  6. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.
  7. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader.
  8. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

H/t maziel

See also:

~Eowyn

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Monday Political Funnies!

And lastly, a not funny, but true meme:

H/t John Molloy

~Eowyn

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Chinese intelligence uses LinkedIn to recruit Americans

While the Democrats and their MSM minions continue to obsess about the alleged Trump-Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election, for which special investigator Robert Mueller has produced not a shred of credible evidence in more than a year, little attention is given to Chinese espionage. See:

The latest: China is using LinkedIn, the social media for professional networking, to recruit Americans with access to government and commercial secrets.

Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay report for Reuters, August 31, 2018, that the head of the U.S. National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, said in an exclusive interview that intelligence and law enforcement officials have told LinkedIn about China’s “super aggressive” campaign, using fake accounts to contact thousands of LinkedIn members at a time. Evanina said LinkedIn should emulate Twitter, Google and Facebook, which have all purged fake accounts allegedly linked to Iranian and Russian intelligence agencies.

China’s Ministry of State Security has “co-optees” – individuals who are not employed by intelligence agencies but work with them – set up fake LinkedIn accounts to approach potential recruits who are experts in fields such as supercomputing, nuclear energy, nanotechnology, semi-conductors, stealth technology, health care, hybrid grains, seeds and green energy. The co-optees — who have been linked to IP addresses associated with Chinese intelligence agencies or set up by bogus executive-recruiting companies — use bribery or phony business propositions in its recruitment efforts. Academics and scientists, for example, are offered payment for scholarly or professional papers, then asked or pressured to pass on U.S. government or commercial secrets.

China’s foreign ministry disputes Evanina’s allegations: “We do not know what evidence the relevant U.S. officials you cite have to reach this conclusion. What they say is complete nonsense and has ulterior motives.”

A senior U.S. intelligence official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss the matter, said “some correlation” has been found between Americans targeted through LinkedIn and data hacked from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 2014 and 2015. The hackers stole sensitive private information, such as addresses, financial and medical records, employment history and fingerprints, of more than 22 million Americans who had undergone background checks for security clearances. China is identified as the leading suspect in the massive hacking, an assertion China’s foreign ministry at the time dismissed as “absurd”.

Joshua Skule, the head of the FBI’s intelligence division charged with countering foreign espionage in the United States, said China is “conducting economic espionage at a rate that is unparalleled in our history,” and that about 70% of China’s overall espionage is aimed at the U.S. private sector, rather than the government.

While Russia, Iran, North Korea and other nations also use LinkedIn and other platforms to identify recruitment targets, U.S. intelligence officials say China is the most prolific and poses the biggest threat. German and British authorities have warned their citizens that Beijing is using LinkedIn to try to recruit them as spies. But this is the first time a U.S. official has publicly discussed this problem in the United States. It is also highly unusual for a senior U.S. intelligence official to single out a company by name and publicly recommend it take action. LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, boasts 562 million users in more than 200 counties and territories, including 149 million U.S. members.

LinkedIn’s head of trust and safety Paul Rockwell said LinkedIn “is a victim here” and that “We are doing everything we can to identify and stop this activity. We’ve never waited for requests to act and actively identify bad actors and remove bad accounts using information we uncover and intelligence from a variety of sources including government agencies.” Earlier this month, LinkedIn had taken down “less than 40” fake accounts, but Rockwell declined to provide numbers of fake accounts associated with Chinese intelligence agencies.

U.S. counter-intelligence chief William Evanina gave the example of Kevin Mallory, 60, a retired CIA officer convicted in June of conspiring to commit espionage for China.

A fluent Mandarin speaker, Kevin Mallory was struggling financially when he was contacted via a LinkedIn message in February 2017 by a Chinese national posing as a headhunter. The individual, using the name Richard Yang, arranged a telephone call between Mallory and a man claiming to work at a Shanghai think tank. Even though Mallory assessed his Chinese contacts to be intelligence officers, during two subsequent trips to Shanghai, Mallory agreed to sell U.S. defense secrets, sent over a special cellular device he was given. He is due to be sentenced in September and could face life in prison.

Evanina said five current and former U.S. officials – including Mallory – have been charged with or convicted of spying for China in the past two and a half years. Additional cases of suspected espionage for China by U.S. citizens are being investigated.

Some current and former officials post significant details about their government work history online – even sometimes naming classified intelligence units that the government does not publicly acknowledge. Evanina said LinkedIn “is a very good site. But it makes for a great venue for foreign adversaries to target not only individuals in the government, formers, former CIA folks, but academics, scientists, engineers, anything they want. It’s the ultimate playground for collection.”

U.S. intelligence services are alerting current and former officials to the threat and telling them what security measures they can take to protect themselves.

~Eowyn

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#Liars & #FakeNews: Lanny Davis admits he was source for fake Trump Tower story and that he lied about it on air

Liars gonna lie. And CNN will have their backs.

From MSN: Lanny Davis, the high-powered attorney of President Trump’s longtime “fixer”-turned-foe Michael Cohen, admitted Monday he was an anonymous source for a bombshell CNN story on the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting — after The Washington Post outed him as a source for its own story.

Davis told BuzzFeed News Monday night he regretted being the anonymous source as well as his subsequent denial. The CNN story, which cited multiple “sources,” claimed Cohen said President Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower sit-down.

“I made a mistake,” Davis told BuzzFeed.

CNN, which has stood by its reporting, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Davis spent recent days walking back his bombshell assertions that his client could tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Trump had prior knowledge of the meeting with a Russian lawyer discussing potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Trump has denied knowledge all along, and fired back following CNN’s report last month.

“I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!” Trump tweeted on July 27.

The CNN report from July 27 headlined, “Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting,” cited “sources with knowledge,” contradicting repeated denials by Trump and his surrogates, as Fox News previously reported. CNN’s report resulted in countless cable news segments and sent other news organizations scurrying to match.

Among them was The Washington Post. On Sunday, the newspaper published an interview in which Davis backpedaled. 

Davis, attempting to clean up his comments in interviews last week after Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud, told the Post he “should have been more clear” that he “could not independently confirm what happened.”

Davis said he regretted his “error.”

Davis’s latest comments cast doubt on what Cohen may know, including about a June 2016 meeting in New York’s Trump Tower attended by Trump’s eldest son and a Russian lawyer,” the Post wrote on Sunday night.

Davis started walking back the allegations last week, when during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, he was asked whether there was evidence that Trump knew about the meeting before it happened. “No, there’s not,” Davis said.

He told BuzzFeed on Monday night about his comments to Cooper: “I did not mean to be cute.”

DCG

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