Wednesday, June 13, 2018

These threatened actions by Deputy AG Rosenstein against Congressmen and Congressional staffers offer more proof of an internal Department of Justice / FBI conspiracy than  does  any of the  evidence presented by Robert Mueller against Paul Manafort  alleging that Manafort  attempted to obstruct justice by influencing witnesses in the "Russian probe". MIL-ED



Deputy AG Rosenstein Threatened To Investigate GOP Lawmakers and Staff

Matt Vespa  6-13-18

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2018/06/12/reports-deputy-ag-rosenstein-threatened-to-turn-tables-on-investigating-gop-lawm-n2490055?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=


 UPDATE: He's Launching •  Internal Probe

UPDATE: CNN is reporting that things have escalated in the conflict between Congress and the DOJ. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein is preparing to launch an internal investigation into the staffers who allege that he threatened to subpoena their records should he be held in contempt of Congress. House Republicans have grown increasingly impatient over the DOJ’s lethargic pace in disclosing documents relating to inquiries into the Trump-Russia investigation. The DOJ has denied that Rosenstein threatened anyone:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's ongoing battle with House Republicans reached new heights Tuesday, as the No. 2 senior leader of the Justice Department plans to call on the House to investigate its own committee staff.

Rosenstein has butted heads with House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes for months over a subpoena for documents related to the Russia investigation, but the battle spilled out into public view Tuesday after Fox News reported staff on the committee felt "personally attacked" at a meeting with Rosenstein in January.

Justice Department officials dispute the recounting of the closed-door meeting detailed in the story, and Rosenstein plans to "request that the House general counsel conduct an internal investigation of these Congressional staffers' conduct" when he returns from a foreign trip this week, DOJ said.

"The Deputy Attorney General never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation," a Justice Department official said. "The FBI Director, the senior career ethics adviser for the Department, and the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs who were all present at this meeting are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false.

***

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly threatened to subpoena the emails and phone records of investigating GOP lawmakers and their staffs in a tense meeting last January. It’s been described as a personal attack in the mini-war between Congress and the Department of Justice, which has been accused of either stonewalling or dragging their feet when it comes to document disclosures. The DOJ denied the account, saying Rosenstein was merely outlining his right to defend himself if Congress tried to hold him in contempt (via Fox News):


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year, according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a "personal attack."

The emails memorialized a January 2018 closed-door meeting involving senior FBI and Justice Department officials as well as members of the House Intelligence Committee. The account claimed Rosenstein threatened to turn the tables on the committee's inquiries regarding the Russia probe. 

“The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,” the committee's then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. “Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.”

A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel’s account, writing: “Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening. ... Also, having the nation’s #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to 'subpoena your calls and emails' was downright chilling.”

The committee staffer noted that Rosenstein’s comment could be interpreted as meaning the department would “vigorously defend a contempt action" -- which might be expected. But the staffer continued, "I also read it as a not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us.”  

[…]

A DOJ official told Fox News that Rosenstein “never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation.” The official said the department and bureau officials in the room “are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false,” adding that Rosenstein was responding to a threat of contempt.  

“The Deputy Attorney General was making the point—after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official said. “That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so. (We have no process to obtain such records without congressional approval.)”

Whatever the case it captures the tension between the DOJ and Congress. In April, DOJ finally turned over the two-page memothat supposedly formed the basis for the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into the Trump-Russia collusion allegations, but only after Congress threatened Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray with impeachment. The conflict over the disclosure of documents relating to the Russia investigation is ongoing, however. 


Saturday, June 9, 2018



Just who is behind the policing of our thought online?

 Pamela Geller, June 8, 2018

https://gellerreport.com/2018/06/geller-internet-thought-police.html/

An article, “What the Red Pill Means for Radicals,” published on June 7 in the ironically named publication Fair Observer might have passed unnoticed as yet another uninformed, biased and ideologically motivated attack on all who ever get labeled “extremists.” The piece is so riddled with non-sequiturs and wild generalizations that it seems almost cruel to rip it to shreds.

But the author is Bharath Ganesh. A little online research reveals that Ganesh is currently working at the Oxford Internet Institute — at the esteemed Oxford University — on a research project funded by the European Union to devise ways to disrupt the “far right” online. The project in question is under the banner of the Vox-Pol Network of Excellence, which “is designed to comprehensively research, analyse, debate, and critique issues surrounding violent online political extremism (VOPE).”

This research group is only interested in violent extremism – according to their website. “The qualifier ‘violent’ is therefore employed here to describe VOX-Pol’s interest, which is in those that employ or advocate physical violence against other individuals and groups to forward their political objectives. The extremist nature of the politics in which VOX-Pol is interested is thus not decided upon by project participants, but by the decision of those involved in particular types of politics to advocate or employ violence to advance their goals.”

Note the claims – utterly disingenuous, as it turns out – that the labeling of certain people or groups as “violent extremists” is entirely due to their own behavior; in other words, don’t worry, folks, it’s all scientifically objective.

This research is being used to advise companies who host online platforms, such as Facebook, as well as governments, on how to stamp out online radicalization – using strategies such as working out ways of preventing people from seeing material posted that is deemed unsuitable in some way, or offering them alternative “nice” things to look at. This is a seriously important issue. The people and political powers behind such initiatives are manipulating behavior online and literally controlling how people think and get information. They are the appointed guardians of the online hoi polloi.

But who guards the guardians?

For if Dr. Ganesh is in charge, we have some very worrying questions to ask. One could start from the observation that the article is certainly not an academic piece, and gives no concrete evidence for any of the sweeping claims it makes about the so-called “alt-right” and the “manosphere”; nor does it, as any academic should do, attempt to test ideas and consider alternative explanations. (Oddly enough, this makes it rather like the groups it claims to criticize.)

And the label of “violent extremist” turns out to be used very generously. Ganesh makes wild leaps and inferences. He talks of Darren Osborne, the perpetrator of the vehicular attack on Finsbury Park Mosque. This was a heinous crime, and should rightly be condemned. But why did Osborne do this, according to Ganesh? The attack “was executed after he had become indignant after watching a BBC broadcast on child sexual exploitation and turned to social media to make sense of it. He found a narrative from British counter-jihad groups closely aligned with the alt-right, such as Britain First and the founder of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson.” The British counter-jihad movement is thus swept into the same group of violent extremists as Osborne, because Ganesh “knows” they encouraged him.

The BBC broadcast was the drama based on real life, Three Girls, which showed real-life events of three of the (very many) victims of the Rochdale Muslim rape gangs. Ganesh somehow knows precisely what went on in Osborne’s mind. Rather than thinking that it was outrage at the behavior of the gangs of Muslim men of Pakistani background who abused the girls portrayed in Three Girls that caused Osborne to lose his mind and commit his terrible crime, Ganesh blames Obsorne’s act on the likes of Tommy Robinson. Yet Robinson explicitly fights AGAINST political violence. What “narrative from British counter-jihad groups” can one find which suggests driving vehicles into innocent Muslims standing outside a mosque? I’m sure if there was any, Ganesh would, as a researcher at an elite institution, be able to find it. But there is none offered – only surmise and Ganesh’s mindreading techniques. I suppose if you’re paid to fight online extremism, you’d better find it, or you’re out of a job and short of academic publication.

We have also the ridiculous idea that Tommy Robinson is “alt-right.” He, in fact, describes himself as a centrist – he’s said he agrees with Labour on some things, the Tories on other things, and he left the EDL precisely because he didn’t like the infiltration by the far right. He shows no hint of racism or of white supremacism.

The writer of this shoddy article is working at one of the most elite universities in the world, on research funded by the European Union, and giving advice based on this sloppy thinking to those who are in charge of manipulating and policing the communications and information we have online.

We have to ask. Is it simply a coincidence that Tommy Robinson is now in prison, and that a “researcher” who presents such a misleading account of Robinson is currently actively engaged in consultation with Oxford University and the European Union in advising how to disrupt Robinson’s activities, reinforcing the lies and misrepresentations about him to those in power?

There’s more. Bharath Ganesh’s profile tells us this: “During his Ph.D., Bharath was also a Senior Researcher at Tell MAMA, a national project dedicated to mapping and monitoring anti-Muslim hate in the United Kingdom. He has given evidence in the Houses of Parliament on governance, extremism, gender, and hate crime and authored a number of reports in this area.”

Is it simply a coincidence that this “researcher,” prior to coming to Oxford University, worked for Tell Mama, that factory for the production of bogus claims about Islamophobia?

Who runs the Internet runs the world. Is this a partnership between Europe’s governments, the Internet giants, and Islamic influence?

CHART FROM ANOTHER SOURCE

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 8.01.02 PM.png

A Democrat Dissents on the Mueller Probe
Jason Willick  Wall Street Journal June 8, 2018 

Mark Penn helped design the Clinton campaign against Ken Starr. He says he’s being consistent.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-democrat-dissents-on-the-mueller-probe-1528497640?mod=itp&mod=djemITP_h



President Trump opened the week in a typical fashion, angrily denouncing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But Mr. Trump appealed to an unlikely authority: Mark Penn, the Democratic pollster who guided President Clinton through his second-term scandals and then served as chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Mr. Penn, now a lecturer at Harvard and a private-equity investor, has condemned the Mueller probe both on television and in columns for the Hill newspaper. These broadsides have turned heads in Washington, especially among fellow Democratic political professionals, who accuse him of selling out. Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Philippe Reines told the New York Times that Mr. Penn is “making a play for something.” Top Obama adviser David Axelrod charged on Twitter that Mr. Penn’s “reemergence as Mueller-basher seems less like courageous truthtelling than cynical opportunism.”

Mr. Penn says it is his detractors who are putting political interest over principle. “There were not enough Republicans who came out in ’98 against the process,” he tells me, “and there are not enough Democrats who are coming out against the process now.”

By “the process” Mr. Penn means the use of legal tools to settle political differences, a phenomenon he sees as getting worse. “If all politics, even after elections, becomes the politics of personal destruction and destroying our opponents rather than fighting for the next election,” he asks, “what will be left of an ideas-based democracy?”

Mr. Penn helped design what he calls Team Clinton’s “aggressive campaign” against the Kenneth Starr investigation. That inquiry originated with suspicions about the Clintons ’ Arkansas land dealings and culminated with Mr. Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice in testimony arising from a sexual-harassment lawsuit. Mr. Penn sees strong similarities between then and now: “In 1998, the country was being torn apart in an investigation that had gone on for many years and then had segued into some other area, after having really not found anything in the areas in which it was set up.”

The process has intensified this time, as Mr. Trump takes on a more personal role than Mr. Clinton did. Mr. Penn also highlights the involvement of Mr. Obama’s former law-enforcement and intelligence chiefs, including Jim Comey, Jim Clapper and John Brennan. “It’s not unprecedented for a president to criticize an independent or special counsel,” he says. “It is unprecedented for people like Comey, Clapper and Brennan to go out and become full-bore political figures on the talk show circuit blasting the president as though they are pundits and not intelligence professionals.”

In addition to corroding “ideas-based” politics, Mr. Penn believes special-counsel investigations can push administration policy toward the extremes. He is credited with helping nudge Mr. Clinton into the political center in the mid-1990s. But in 1998, he says, Mr. Clinton had to retreat leftward to keep his party united behind him: “Those were the votes for acquittal in impeachment.”

Could the threat from the Russia probe force Mr. Trump to lean more heavily on his populist base? Mr. Penn is certain it already has affected the administration’s calculus on foreign policy. “If the idea was to use Russia as a fulcrum against Iran and China, that policy got blown up,” he says. “It’s not irrational policy,” but “the investigation made it impossible.”

The overarching problem, Mr. Penn contends, is that when law-enforcement agencies conduct “impeachment investigations,” it creates “a separation of powers problem.” He therefore recommends undertaking such probes “only when things are on the surest of grounds.”

Absent a smoking gun, in other words, Congress should take the investigative lead. But what if the political system is so polarized, as now, that lawmakers would be reluctant to challenge a president of their own party? “Elections come around every two years in this country,” he says. While lawyers often view the legal process as the key to accountability, Mr. Penn, a pollster, has a sunny optimism in the ability of the electorate to play that role.

He insists he has been consistent on this point, and there’s a paper trail to prove it. As a college sophomore in 1973, amid the Watergate scandal but before the release of President Nixon’s incriminating White House tapes, Mr. Penn wrote in the Harvard Crimson that the special prosecutor was a “ ‘quasi-constitutional’ mechanism” and that impeachment efforts should proceed with caution.

Critics may object that Mr. Penn has not been a Democrat in good standing for some time. He co-wrote an op-ed last summer urging the party to “move to the center” on cultural issues and focus on defending the Affordable Care Act. He says this advice is “as valid, if not more valid” today, and he hopes Democrats in 2020 pick a moderate nominee who will lead in that direction. He rejects the view that Democrats can win back power by doubling down on their current coalition. “I don’t think it’s possible for the Democratic Party to become a majority party without winning back the working class,” Mr. Penn says, “and continuing to make advancements in the suburbs and particularly with independent women.”

Mr. Penn cites the GOP’s choice of Mitt Romney in 2012 as evidence that a party can moderate. “I don’t think anybody expected during the peak times of the tea party that the Republicans would nominate people like Romney, ” he says. With the right standard-bearer, moving to the center “is a process Democrats could well undertake.”

Is Mr. Penn’s polemical anti-Mueller commentary a sign that he has been seduced by the GOP? No, he insists: Republicans also show no sign of occupying the middle ground that Mr. Clinton once did. But perhaps Mr. Penn’s policy instincts and his hostility to special counsels are related. If politics is a process of messy compromise through which ideas are recontested every two years, then it makes sense to respect election results and meet voters where they are. On the other hand, if the aim of politics is a decisive ideological triumph, then it makes sense to double down on your existing base and support any means, including criminal investigations, to force rivals out of power.

Mr. Penn’s rhetoric on Mr. Mueller has been excessive, but perhaps his views simply reflect a more pragmatic approach to politics—an approach that, alas, may be out of date.


Mr. Willick is an assistant editorial features editor at the Journal.

Friday, June 8, 2018

KRAUTHAMMER  SAYS GOODBYE
`
The following letter from Charles Krauthammer was delivered to his home paper and syndicate, The Washington Post.

I have been uncharacteristically silent these past 10 months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I'm afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me.

In August of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my abdomen. That operation was thought to have been a success, but it caused a cascade of secondary complications -- which I have been fighting in hospital ever since. It was a long and hard fight with many setbacks, but I was steadily, if slowly, overcoming each obstacle along the way and gradually making my way back to health.

However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.

I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The Washington Post, Fox News, and Crown Publishing.

Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life's work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation's destiny.


I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life -- full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.

Robert Mueller’s Israel problem
Jordan Schachtel · June 5, 2018  


POSTING NOTE: The bare-bones facts as, stated by Jordan Schachtel  in his article “Robert Mueller's Israel Problem”, are all correct.

Whether Robert Mueller was the source/director of these actions cannot be confirmed by any information that we have. However, no one can dispute that Robert Mueller ,as the lead officer in each of these actions, bears responsibility. Also, the confluence of these incidents would lead most independent investigators to conclude  that the pattern was intentional [and probably corrupt].

Those sections where we have sufficient direct personal knowledge to confirm the actual actions taken by organizations directed by Robert Mueller are indicated by *

 Those sections where we have sufficient personal knowledge to be concerned that Robert Mueller was personally involved are indicated by **

Robert Mueller’s Israel problem
Jordan Schachtel · June 5, 2018  

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/robert-muellers-israel-problem/

As the Mueller probe drags along into year two of its supposed investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, a disturbing pattern has emerged. The special counsel has become obsessed with the state of Israel. The former FBI director is deeply suspicious, to the point of total paranoia, that there is a grand conspiracy involving the Trump campaign and transition officials as potential agents for the Israelis.

George Papadopoulos, the Israeli spy?  *
On Monday, the Daily Caller reported that Mueller had allegedly coerced Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to plead guilty to lesser charges, after threatening that he would be prosecuted as an Israeli spy.
There isn’t much public evidence to suggest that Papadopoulos has substantial ties to Israel. Born to Greek immigrants, he has made a career of working on eastern Mediterranean energy issues. He has advocated for the very uncontroversial position that there should be a closer diplomatic and economic bond between Israel, Cyprus, Greece, and the United States. Nonetheless, the prospect of being prosecuted under the Espionage Act is terrifying, as a conviction carries a lengthy prison sentence.

While it is supposedly investigating Russia’s activities in 2016, the Mueller probe’s alleged Papadopoulos threat is just one of many instances in which the special counsel has instead exhibited a hyper focus on Israel-related activities.

Gen. Michael Flynn and Israel  *
In December, Gen. Michael Flynn pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI. Notably, one of the charges levelled at the decorated general was that during the transition period, he communicated with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. about a coming vote concerning an anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations. Although the mainstream media and the Left accused him of breaching protocol, a transition team reaching out to world powers prior to entering office is not illegal or unusual. In fact, it’s a standard, smart practice.

President Obama was notoriously hostile to Israel, so much so that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly called the incoming Trump administration and asked if they could rally for the defeat of the vicious U.N. resolution. The resolution passed anyway, thanks to U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power’s abstention.

Nonetheless, Mueller found it necessary to charge Flynn for misleading the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador about the resolution. Additionally, as the special counsel probe drags on, evidence has emerged that Flynn did not in fact mislead the FBI about his conversations.

Jared Kushner and Israel
In November, reports emerged that Mueller was scrutinizing efforts made by Jared Kushner, a senior aide to the president, and his efforts to combat the anti-Israel U.N. resolution during the presidential transition period.

Just as Gen. Flynn had every right to defend Israel, so did Kushner. Yet Mueller’s team seemingly carried on for months with a dedicated effort to examining Kushner’s Israeli ties. As Mueller was digging into Kushner, targeted hit pieces reporting exclusive information from the Mueller probe landed in leftist outlets such as the Washington Post, NBC News, and the New York Times.

Flashback: Mueller tries to “tempt Jews” to betray USA  **
Mueller’s suspicions of Israel — and Jews as a whole — go back to his early days as the FBI director.

In 2004, the Mueller FBI alleged that a massive Israeli spy ring was operating out of the Pentagon. The stunning revelations sent shockwaves throughout the intelligence community, and it was followed by endless editorials painting Israel as a nefarious actor seeking to undermine the United States.

Yet it later turned out that the allegations were completely bogus. There was no Israeli spy ring, but rather, what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to target Jews for prosecution. There were several disturbing instances of the Mueller FBI running sting operations attempting to “tempt Jews” to betray their country. “All turned down the offer,” according to the Washington Post. Mueller’s attempts to lure Jews into a trap failed. The botched operation confirmed the troubling reality that elements of the U.S. intelligence community remained attached to anti-Semitism.

Mueller sends a team to Israel   **
Last month, Mueller sent a team of investigators to Israel in an attempt to track down the activities of at least two Israeli social media and consulting firms. Mueller’s prosecutors have seemed to suggest in leaks to the media that the Israeli firms may have colluded with the president to secure his victory.

However, both companies have flatly denied that they ever even worked with the Trump campaign in an official or unofficial capacity, yet Mueller devoted massive resources to flying his team over to Israel to investigate the matter.

The Trump-Russia dossier and its backers have their own Jewish conspiracies  *
If Mueller is indeed relying upon the rumors gathered in the political opposition document (which was financed by the Clinton campaign) known as the Trump-Russia dossier (and reports suggest that he is), his attempts to uncover a series of grand Israeli and Jewish conspiracies shouldn’t come as a surprise.

According to the dossier, Russian Jews and Jewish organizations are integral to the supposed links between President Trump and the Kremlin. As Lee Smith lays out in an article for Tablet magazine, dossier producer Glenn Simpson has made it clear in his public testimony that he believes there is an ongoing “secret Jewish plot to undermine American democracy.”

To this day, not a single major allegation in the dossier has been confirmed.

Old habits die hard
The evidence is not on his side, but that hasn’t stopped Mueller from sending agents halfway across the world to chase down leads garnered from politically motivated sources. As his career track record shows, this isn’t the first time Mueller has played the Israeli agent card. The first time, Mueller’s delusions ended up making a hugely embarrassing saga for the FBI. Now one year into the Mueller probe, his special counsel has yet to find evidence for any grand Israeli plot.



Saturday, June 2, 2018

PANDORA’S BOX: Trump/Russia May Expose Extent of “Five Eyes” Allied Spying

A comprehensive timeline of events of the Russia investigation

Sara Carter  6-1-18


***Highlights***
New evidence contradicts the DOJ/FBI timeline leaked to the media
Sources say the Trump investigation initiated overseas in Great Britain, not the United States
John Brennan, James Clapper, Samantha Power, Loretta Lynch were all briefed by James Comey on the alleged Russian interference into the Trump campaign, yet the Trump campaign was left in the dark
According to reports, Germany, Poland and Estonia also shared communications related to members of the Trump campaign with the United States

******

Over the past month, a number of articles have made reference to the timeline surrounding the Obama administration’s counterintelligence operation into President Donald Trump’s campaign ‘s alleged ties to Russia.

Investigations conducted by Congressional and Senate committees are entering the second year and what has been pieced together by investigators – battling for documents every step of the way – challenges the information the FBI and former senior Obama administration have revealed about the investigation.

Their evidence is at odds with the DOJ/FBI timeline leaked to various news outlets indicating the investigation began in late summer of 2016. These discrepancies make it all the more important that the DOJ and FBI turn over documents to the Congressional oversight committees who are investigating what looks like an abuse and weaponization of the tools used by U.S. federal law enforcement and the intelligence community.

In a December 2017 article, I interviewed numerous intelligence officials and whistleblowers, who say what happened in the Trump campaign is a microcosm of ongoing abuse of the intelligence apparatus and explain why the American public has a right to know what happened.

But the FBI’s Russia/Trump investigation has become more of a Pandora’s box and the revelations lead to multiple unanswered questions on the part of all the players involved.

What was the evidence that allowed the Obama administration to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign? We still don’t have an answer but we’re closer than ever to unraveling what happened and why. If the FBI was truly concerned that Russians were trying to influence the campaign, why didn’t the Bureau give a defensive briefing to alert the campaign about these concerns? What role did the offices of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA and NSA have in the investigation?

Unfortunately, the FBI and DOJ have stonewalled the American public’s right-to-know, along with congressional oversight efforts, and so many questions are left unanswered. What we do know is that a  bulk of the information regarding advisors with the Trump campaign was gathered in England. We also know that Great Britain’s intelligence apparatus, along with other allied nations intelligence networks, were also gathering communications and data on officials of the Trump campaign while overseas.

How much information  shared with the U.S. authorities and what was the nature of intelligence sharing?

Here is what the timeline, based on leaks in the press and information obtained by lawmakers, reveals and why it is so important that the President and Congress do everything in their power to find out what happened and wrap up this investigation.

FLYNN, PAGE, PAPADOPOULOS AND STEELE:
A TIMELINE OF EVENTS

Late 2015 (No date specified): According to several former and current western intelligence sources who spoke to this reporter, the investigations into President Donald Trump and his campaign began much earlier than has been reported and for that matter, it did not begin in the United States but rather across the Atlantic Ocean, in Great Britain.

Intelligence community counterparts in Great Britain, specifically GCHQ, which is similar to America’s NSA, had already begun looking into what they alleged was contact between Russians and some members of the Trump campaign and played “an early, prominent role” according to these sources. But whether that information was requested by the U.S. as assistance to an investigation here or whether the British began the investigation on their own is still not clear.

The Guardian reported that British Intelligence sources shared its signals intelligence on people connected to Trump campaign with the United States. However, The Guardian also reports that Germany, Poland, and Estonia also shared communications related to members of the Trump campaign with the United States.  Great Britain, which is part of what is called the “Five-Eyes” alliance includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the countries often shared signals intelligence, raw communications between targets they were investigating.


John Brennan
If what we are being told is true, who inside the U.S. and British intelligence agencies were aware that members of the Trump campaign had their communications intercepted by British intelligence, purportedly investigating the Russians? Was it the U.S. who asked the British to assist in a counterintelligence investigation or did the British do this on their own as claimed in The Guardian? If this did occur, how directly involved were CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in the information being shared by our allies? And how often had American political communications, unknown to the public, been intercepted by foreign governments for political purposes?

Moreover, if members of an administration collect information from allies based on overseas communications between opposition, what happens to that intelligence? How is it safeguarded from abuse and who or what agency has the oversight authority to ensure it is a legitimate counterintelligence investigation? Congressional oversight is always after-the-fact and lawmakers have been hampered by roadblocks set up by the DOJ, FBI and former senior officials of the Obama administration, who either have withheld documentation, evaded answering questions or lied.

If what the British and western intelligence officials are saying is true, then the investigation into the Trump campaign began much earlier than the FBI’s claims at the end of July 2016. More importantly, our allies may have been collecting more communications than we’re aware of on Trump campaign officials and volunteers. What we do know is that National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; Carter Page, a short time foreign policy volunteer for the campaign; Paul Manafort, a short-term campaign chair and George Papadopoulos, a young short-term foreign policy advisor were all caught up in the spying dragnet.

December 10, 2015: Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, goes to Moscow to give a speech at an event held by Russia Television, a Russian government-funded news agency known as RT. Flynn was paid $45,000 through his speaker’s bureau which arranged for him to speak at the event. Jill Stein, who was the Green Party’s presidential candidate, was also seated at the same table as Flynn, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Early March 2016: George Papadopoulos was working in London at the London Centre of International Law Practice. It was during this time in early March that he learns that he will serve as a volunteer foreign policy advisor on the Trump campaign, according to court records. He had only been with this organization for a short period of time:

Early March 2016: Fusion GPS approached the law firm of Perkins Coie which represents the Hillary for America Campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Fusion GPS presents the firm with a proposal to continue its opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump, which they had begun in 2015 under contract with the Paul Singer-connected Washington Free Beacon.

March 10, 2016:  An onslaught of malicious phishing email messages targeting people from the Hillary Clinton campaign were sent around. John Podesta – who responded to the phishing bait – allowed the hackers to gain entry into the campaigns most confidential emails, per reports.
March 11, 2016: A Russian spy, Evgeny Buryakov, who posed as a banker in New York City, pleaded guilty to espionage-related charges. Court documents revealed Russia’s SVR, foreign intelligence service, was involved. Allegedly Carter Page, a graduate of the Naval Academy, who was outed as “Male 1” in media reports was approached by the Russians in 2013. The FBI then approached Page about his contact with the Russians. For the most part Page’s involvement in the FBI’s case remains a mystery.  Questions still loom as to whether or not Page assisted the FBI in bringing charges against the Russian spies and the extent of his role, according to analysts.

March 14, 2016: Professor Joseph Mifsud, allegedly in hiding now, was an honorary director with the London Academy of Diplomacy and was also with the London Centre of International Law Practice. Mifsud shows the direct interest in Papadopoulos and arranges a meeting. Mifsud, originally from Malta, was connected to both the British foreign secretary along with Western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, according to various reports and work history.  Papadopoulos had gone to Rome as part of a visiting delegation from the London Center.  In an article, Lee Smith with Real Clear Politics outlines Mifsud’s history and calls into question his direct ties with Russia, instead suggesting the professor’s ties appear to be stronger to western intelligence agencies and possibly Bill and Hillary Clinton. Smith refers to an interview Mifsud gave to  the Italian newspaper La Repubblica shortly before he went into hiding saying,“The only foundation I am a member of…the Clinton Foundation.”

March 21, 2016: Then-candidate Trump, who was under criticism for not having a foreign policy team in place, does an hour-long interview with the Washington Post, where he reveals a number of advisors selected for the campaign’s foreign policy team. Two of the people on the list are Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, who were brought on board by Sam Clovis.

From The Washington Post: 
Trump began the hour-long meeting by pulling out a list of some of his foreign policy advisers.”Walid Phares, who you probably know. PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives. He’s a counterterrorism expert,” Trump said (during his interview with the Washington Post). “Carter Page, PhD. George Papadopoulos. He’s an oil and energy consultant. Excellent guy. The honorable Joe Schmitz, [was] inspector general at the Department of Defense. General Keith Kellogg. And I have quite a few more. But that’s a group of some of the people that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects of what we do. But that’s a pretty representative group.”

March 2016 (Date not specified): Shortly after Trump announces his foreign policy team, FBI Director James Comey, along with Deputy Director Andrew McCabe go to brief Attorney General Loretta Lynch about Carter Page. Why? Because Page had already been on the FBI’s radar during a 2013 investigation into Russian spies working in New York City.
According to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia report, Lynch told lawmakers, “one of the possibilities the three of us discussed was whether or not to provide what is called a defensive briefing to the campaign, wherein there would be a meeting with a senior person with the campaign to alert them to the fact that…there may be efforts to compromise someone in their campaign.” The FBI, however, did not provide that briefing.

The report also noted “Page previously lived and worked in Russia and maintained contact with known Russian intelligence officers, including (redacted) who was described in a 2015 court filing as an SVR officer posted to the Russian Mission to the United Nations. Page previously worked with the FBI in the prosecution of (redacted) and other Russian intelligence officials.”

Late Spring (no specified date given by Obama Officials): After speaking to Lynch, Comey briefs the National Security Council Principals about Page, according to the Russia Report (page 54). Those interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee, however, did not specify the date of the meeting to lawmakers, only recalling it was in late spring. Still, despite concerns, the FBI did not provide a defensive briefing to the Trump campaign about Page or raise any awareness about Russia’s interference. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York, describes: “…the principals committee includes some of the highest-ranking officials in the government, including the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and Homeland Security, the attorney general, the head of the CIA, the White House chief of staff, U.N. ambassador, and more.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power (Remember her? she unmasked over 300 people at the end of her tenure.), Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among other senior officials were briefed on the matter. What did Obama know, what did Valerie Jarrett know? Those are questions that are still left unanswered:

March 29, 2016: Paul Manafort and his partner, Richard Gates, join the Trump campaign. Like Page, both men were also on the FBI’s radar. Manafort and Gates worked as political consultants for Ukrainian politicians backed by the Kremlin.

April 2016: Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc E. Elias, with the law firm Perkins Coie, goes back to Fusion GPS to retain the research firm for an investigation into Trump’s campaign and alleged ties to Russia, according to a letter. Perkins Coie was also representing the DNC in addition to the Hillary Clinton Campaign. According to Luke Harding, The Guardian former British spy Christopher Steele begins working for Fusion GPS co-founder and friend Glen Simpson in April. Steele was no stranger to Washington D.C. circles. He had a long time relationship with the FBI and was connected to officials in the State Department, many of whom were closely connected to Hillary and Bill Clinton.  According to the Washington Post article, which first reported who paid the research firm, “Elias and his law firm, Perkins Code, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.”

NOTE: Harding interviewed Steele for his report in The Guardian, which stated that he began working for Fusion in April but other articles and Congressional testimony suggest Fusion GPS hired Steele in June. These dates are confusing but important. If Steele turned in his first part of the dossier in June, there is a reason to believe he was working much earlier for Fusion GPS. 

April 26, 2016: Papadopoulos has a meeting with Professor Joseph Mifsud in London. According to court documents, Papadopoulos tells the FBI that Mifsud told him about a recent trip to Moscow. Mifsud allegedly said that while he was in Moscow he met with “high-level Russian government officials” that claimed to have information on Hillary Clinton.

May 4, 2016: Papadopoulus gives an interview to The Times, in London, where he garners attention for lashing out at Prime Minister David Cameron saying, the PM should apologize for calling Trump “divisive, stupid and wrong.”  This interview gets the attention of the Australian Diplomat Alexander Downer, who is upset by Papadopoulos’ remarks regarding Cameron and arranges to meet with him. The meeting was scheduled for May 10, 2016, according to reports and interviews with Downer.

May 10, 2016: Papadopoulos agrees to meet Downer at London’s Kensington Wine Room. According to Downer, they only had one drink and he was meeting to respond to Papadopoulos’s interview with The Times.  It was then that Papadopoulos referred to the information Mifsud had relayed to him about Moscow having information on Clinton. Downer, in an interview with The Australian news magazine, said articles referring to a heavy night of drinking were false. He said that “by the way, nothing [Papadopoulos] said in that conversation indicated Trump himself had been conspiring with the Russians to collect information on Hillary Clinton. It was just that this guy, [Papadopoulos], clearly knew that the Russians did have material on Hillary Clinton — but whether Trump knew or not?”
Downer also indicated that “(Papadopoulos) didn’t say Trump knew or that Trump was in any way involved in this. He said it was about Russians and Hillary Clinton; it wasn’t about Trump.” In fact, he noted that Papadopoulos “didn’t say dirt; he said material that could be damaging to (Clinton). No, he said it would be damaging. He didn’t say what it was.


Sam Clovis Interviewed By House Intelligence Committee
It was the conversation during this meeting, according to a story in the New York Times in December 2017,  that would open the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation “Crossfire Hurricane,” which was to probe any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

According to Chuck Ross with the Daily Caller Papadopoulos believed Mifsud was referring to the 30,000-plus emails Hillary Clinton had deleted from her server. Andrew McCarthy in National Review noted that this scenario makes more sense because “it was those emails that Donald Trump harped on throughout the campaign and that were in the news when Mifsud spoke with Papadopoulos in April 2016. While there are grounds for concern that Clinton’s emails were hacked, there is no proof that it happened; Clinton’s 30,000 emails are not the hacked DNC emails on which the “collusion” narrative is based.”

June 20, 2016: Former British spy Christopher Steele turns over the first part of his work on the dossier to Fusion GPS, according to The Guardian.

July 2016:  According to the book Russian Roulette, Victoria Nuland, with the State Department, who knows Steele, gets a summary of the dossier through Jonathan Winer, also the State Department. According to the book, she gave permission for an FBI agent in London to meet with Steele.

July 5, 2016:  Steele met with FBI Agent Michael Gaeta in London at Steele’s home. At that point, Steele gave Gaeta a copy of the dossier he has put together.

July 7, 2016: Carter Page makes a trip to Moscow for a speaking engagement on July 7, but not as an official member of the Trump campaign
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July 11-12, 2016: Just days after leaving Moscow, Carter Page attends an event at the University of Cambridge called 2016’s Race to Change the World: How the U.S. Presidential Campaign Can Reshape Global Politics and Foreign Policy. Page received the invitation to attend the event at the end of May. Page told this reporter that this is when he first met Stephan Halper, an emeritus professor of the university. Halper’s contact with Page suggests he was already an informant being used by the FBI in their counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. Interestingly, Page was not invited to speak at the event but event organizers paid for his trip to attend. It is now widely circulated in reports that Stephan Halper was the informant used by the FBI to keep tabs on the Trump campaign. If this is true, who inside the FBI or DOJ authorized him to do so and why?

July 19 – December 13, 2016: There would be 16 more memos put together by Steele and his final December memo would be given to Rep. John McCain through a representative, as reported by The Guardian.
NOTE: On May 16, 2018, The New York Times and The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources,  revealed the name of the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian influence in the Trump campaign. In the articles, which reference the operation Crossfire Hurricane, sources stated that Halper didn’t reach out to Trump campaign officials until July 31st. This, however, is clearly not the case as Carter Page began speaking with Halper in mid-July during his trip at the London conference.

Halper, who has close ties with the CIA and MI-6, is now at the center of the controversy surrounding the FBI’s investigation and whether or not he was used as an informant by the FBI to gather information. But this wasn’t Halper’s first rodeo. The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald’s article reveals that Halper was also utilized by the CIA during President Ronald Reagan’s campaign against former President Jimmy Carter.

July 16, 2016: Carter Page revealed on his Twitter account that Halper was already in touch with him earlier than stated by the FBI and DOJ. In fact, on July 16, Page sent an email to a senior Trump campaign official about Halper, indicating Halper’s desire to help the campaign.

July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks releases the DNC emails connected to the campaign that FBI officials believe were hacked when John Podesta clicked on the malicious email sent to him in March, as reported by The Washington Post.

July 2016 (date not specified): Australian diplomat Alexander Downer reports his conversation with Papadopoulos to the FBI.

July 25, 2016: FBI confirms it’s investigating the Democratic National Committee hack, as reported by Politico.

July 31, 2016: According to the New York Times and the Washington Post the FBI opens its investigation now known as Crossfire Hurricane into the Trump campaign and alleged ties to Russia. Sources close to the current investigations being conducted in Congress and the Senate have told this reporter that based on all the evidence it appears the counterintelligence investigation began much earlier, possibly as early as March.

August 2, 2016: Two FBI agents that had been dispatched to London, send a summary of their report and interview with Downer to headquarters. Embattled FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, was one of the agents to interview Downer in what is considered highly unusual because Downer was a diplomat, as reported.

August 29, 2016: Stephan Halper sends an email to Sam Clovis, who was the former national co-chairman of the Trump campaign. It was Clovis who brought Page and Papadopoulos onto the Trump campaign as foreign policy advisors. As stated by The Washington Examiner’s Byron York in his interview with Clovis, he met with Halper several days later in Virginia. Clovis, who is not suspected of any wrongdoing, recounts to York that Halper did not divulge that he knew Page and seemed very interested in Papadopoulos.
Clovis tells York:
“This is just my speculation — I have no knowledge,” Clovis told me. “I think [Halper] was using his meeting with me to give him bona fides to talk to George Papadopoulos. He used Carter Page to get to me and he used me to get to George. George was the target. I think George was the target all along.”

Clovis’s theory is that Halper was trying to link Papadopoulos and the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary Clinton unilaterally deleted from her private email system. Halper was hoping “that somebody would bite in the campaign … his goal was to drag George into this to say the Trump campaign tried to get access to those emails from Russia.”

September 23, 2016: Yahoo News Michael Iskoff publishes an article saying U.S. Intelligence officials are investigating Carter Page and his connections to Russia. The story, which was used as part of the evidence to gain a warrant to spy on Page, also relied on the same information Christopher Steele provided the FBI in his unverified dossier. According to the House Intelligence Committee investigation, the FISA application on Page was actually “derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.”

October 1, 2016: The Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported in his January 16, column that Christopher Steele met with an FBI agent In Rome. Ignatius writes: “That encounter took place around Oct. 1 (2016) in Rome with Steele’s old FBI contact. At this meeting, the FBI official asked Steele if he had ever heard of Papadopoulos, according to an official familiar with the meeting. Steele hadn’t.” According to congressional officials and reports, Steele was offered $50,000 by the FBI but was never paid after it was discovered he had been speaking to reporters about his dossier in violation of the contract he had as an informant for the FBI.

NOTE: The Senate Judiciary Committee sent a criminal referral on Steele on January 4, 2018, which stated “[The] FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele’s personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information.”

[T]here is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one of which bears on his credibility…
October 31, 2016: FBI is granted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Application warrant on Carter Page. There were three more FISA warrants on Page, each renewed every 90 days by law and ending in September 2017. As I previously reported, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed off on the final FISA application on Page and that application would have contained all the evidence gathered from previous investigations. According to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia report the bulk of the FISA warrant relied heavily on Christopher Steele’s unverified dossier.

The question here is why didn’t the FBI get a warrant to spy on Papadopoulos if the bureau was so concerned about the connections he alleged to Mifsud? Or did they try to get a warrant but failed to have enough proof for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?

November 3, 2016: Despite multiple offers to help the Trump campaign, Halper suggests that Clinton would be the better candidate, as reported by Sputnik Russian news. 

November 8, 2016: Election Day.

November 9, 2016: President Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States after the vote is tallied.

November 10, 2016: Former President Obama, who fired Flynn based on multiple disagreements over the administration’s policy in the Middle East and Islamic State crisis, warns President Trump about Flynn.

November 18, 2016:  Flynn is named by Trump as Incoming National Security Advisor.

December 22, 2016:  Flynn has a phone conversation with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Dec. 28, 2016: Executive order 13757 is signed by Obama announcing sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak contacts Flynn, according to Flynn’s plea agreement.

December 29, 2016: Flynn calls a senior member of the Presidential Transition Team to discuss what if anything he should discuss with Kislyak. Flynn is on vacation with his family. He then calls the Russian Ambassador and has multiple short phone conversations with Kislyak. Flynn calls back the senior Presidential Transition Team official, in Mar-a-Lago, to let them know what he had discussed with Kislyak, according to the plea agreement.

January 5, 2017: Then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates have a meeting at the White House about Russian interference in the election.

January 6, 2017: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asks then FBI Director James Comey to brief then President-Elect Donald Trump on the contents of the dossier after their national security briefing with the President-elect at Trump Tower, according to Comey’s memos and as reported.

January 10, 2017:  CNN’s Jake Tapper, publishes the first report about the intelligence chief’s briefing on Steele’s dossier, citing senior officials with knowledge.

NOTE: The House Intelligence Committee Russia report found that Clapper was not truthful and had multiple conflicting statements regarding his communications with CNN reporters about the contents of the dossier and the briefing given to then President-elect Trump. Clapper is suspected of leaking the information to CNN on the dossier Comey testified was unverified and salacious, as reported. Comey noted in his memos that news agencies had the Steele dossier for some time but they were unwilling to publish the unverified dossier unless they had a “news hook.” 

January 10, 2017: Shortly after CNN’s report, Buzzfeed publishes the Steele dossier.

January 12, 2017: The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius publishes a column leaking the highly classified contents of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak. Senior Obama government officials tell Ignatius that Flynn discussed the sanctions – including the expulsion from the U.S. of 35 Russian diplomats-  with the Russian Ambassador. In the article, they try to accuse the incoming National Security Advisor of violating the Logan Act, an obscure law that forbids U.S. citizens from negotiating with nations in a dispute with the United States.

January 15, 2017: Vice President-Elect Mike Pence tells CBS’s Face the Nation that he spoke to Flynn and there was no discussion of sanctions, according to the transcripts.

January 20, 2017: Inauguration Day. But that wasn’t all that took place, on her last day as National Security Advisor Susan Rice sent out the last email on her official White House account. In it she recounts the Jan. 5 meeting she had with Obama, Biden, Yates and Comey. The email was discovered by the Senate Judiciary Committee and in a letter they sent, to Rice. The Chairman Charles Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham questioned Rice, asking why she would send such a memo to herself. She stressed repeatedly in the email that Obama wanted any investigation into Trump to be done “by the book,” as reported. 

“The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book,” wrote Rice. “From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming [Trump] team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”

January 24, 2017: FBI Special Agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka interview Flynn at the White House about his conversation with Kislyak. Flynn is not aware that the agents were coming to the White House to conduct an official interview as the FBI had been conducting security briefings with the new transition team that week.

NOTE: The agents did not believe Flynn lied about his phone conversations with Kislyak. Comey also told lawmakers the agents did not believe Flynn lied, as reported and according to the House Intelligence Committee Russia report.

January 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates goes to the White House to notify the administration that Flynn is not telling the truth and could be blackmailed by the Russians (which on its face is extreme since there was no evidence that Flynn had been lying).


February 13, 2017: Flynn is fired by the White House for apparently misleading Vice President Pence about his conversation with Russia.