President Trump, Chief-of-Staff John Kelly and White House Counsel Don McGahn met with DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats today to discuss the revelations of former FBI, DOJ and intelligence officials conducting politically motivated surveillance on the Trump campaign in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
After the meeting the White House released the following statement:
“Based on the meeting with the President, the Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigations or the Department of Justices tactics concerning the Trump Campaign. It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.” (link)
Two months ago Inspector General Michael Horowitz launched a third investigation into DOJ and FBI conduct as it relates to the abuse of the FISA court by former officials. The FISA abuse investigation was the second outcropping from the original IG investigation into FBI and DOJ conduct during the Clinton investigation.
The original IG investigation started by looking into the results of a 2015/2016 FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s classified email use. That original investigation resulted in a lengthy Draft Report which is currently in draft review phase. This much anticipated report is on schedule be published in final form within the next two weeks.
During the original investigation the Office of Inspector General discovered officials within the FBI were leaking information to the media of the Clinton investigation. DOJ lawyer Lisa Page, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, FBI Director of Public Affairs Michael Kortan, and Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe were all outlined as participating in unlawful structured media leaks. The outcome of this investigation resulted in the IG report on McCabe.
Similarly, while the original IG investigation was underway – evidence of FBI and DOJ abuse of the FISA court for surveillance warrants was discovered. Serious legal questions about the FISA Title-1 application, filed against Carter Page but used to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign, surfaced. After mounting evidence was gathered by congress, OIG and FBI INSD investigative units, Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced he was launching a third investigation into the FISA abuse scandal. This announcement was made in March, 2018.
Today’s announcement by the DOJ expands the FISA abuse investigation with DAG Rod Rosenstein now authorizing IG Horowitz to pursue questions of whether the FBI, DOJ and/or intelligence community were conducting political operations using planted informants, agent provocateurs, and FBI assets to conduct domestic spy operations against the Trump campaign.
The suspicious ‘note-to-self‘ January 20th, 2017, inauguration day memo by President Obama’s former National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, is now the 800lb gorilla in the room with a disinfecting Q-Beam directed toward it. Knowing that CIA informant Stefan Halper was used to approach the Trump campaign, the “by-the-book” ass-covering memo takes on an entirely new meaning.
A few key points to remember against the backdrop of: “whether the FBI held a political motive in the counterintelligence investigation.”
First, both DOJ Deputy (National Security Division) Bruce Ohr and FBI Agent Peter Strzok remain under the employ of the DOJ and FBI respectively.
Each of these individuals, Ohr and Strzok, would have direct first-hand knowledge of the motivations behind the 2015/2016 FBI counterintelligence operation; and the use of the FISA court to seek surveillance authority therein.
Their continued employment is key to understanding the likelihood of an internal criminal investigation. Strzok and Ohr were removed from their official positions nine months ago yet they both remain in employment limbo. That doesn’t happen accidentally.
With OIG and INSD investigations ongoing, there is a purposeful reasoning for retention of two clearly outlined figures central to the review. Both Ohr and Strzok are entwined in the larger -likely corrupt- intelligence aspects of “Crossfire Hurricane”; each would have specific knowledge valuable to IG Horowitz, the FBI Inspection Division, and any ongoing criminal investigation of U.S. Attorney John Huber.
It is also important to remember there is a massive amount of evidence within the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages intentionally redacted. It is highly likely U.S. Attorney John Huber was the person doing the redactions; and it should be noted no-one in the committees that matter (Nunes, Goodlatte, Grassley) have ever asked for those text message redactions to be removed.
The text messages being kept hidden are likely due to Huber’s desire to preserve the integrity of ‘criminal evidence‘, while still complying with congressional oversight demands. This is where the oft forgotten John Lausch comes into play.
Anyone outside the IG investigation by Horowitz and the Criminal Investigation by Huber has no idea what is behind the redactions in those text messages. Those redactions are there for a reason; and I would again draw attention to their origin surfacing on December 2nd, 2017. At the time of their first public mention no-one was asking for them…. The release of the messages appears entirely purposeful as an aspect of the investigation.
It should also be noted the exit of DOJ/FBI lawyer Lisa Page and former FBI chief legal counsel James Baker, happened two weeks prior to the release of the IG draft report on the Clinton investigation. It seems increasingly likely Ms. Page and Mr. Baker had exhausted their usefulness. The immediate employment announcement by James Baker implies there was no legal immunity granted by Huber for prior cooperation.
[Baker immediately went to work for Benjamin Wittes (Lawfare Blog), a 2016 and 2017 guiding hand in the DOJ usurpation (outlined in Page/Strzok messages) and Baker is also a close friend of former FBI Director James Comey]
On the surface it appears Ms. Page and Mr. Baker could only take the investigative inquiry as high in the food chain as FBI Director Comey and Asst. FBI Director McCabe. However, FBI Agent Peter Strzok was the lead point of contact for John Brennan in the creation of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). It was noted Strzok actually did much of the ICA authorship from the perspective of the FBI; therefore Strzok’s work reaches deep into the motives of Brennan and likely into the White House.
Similarly, on the DOJ-NSD side – Bruce Ohr remains under control. Like Strzok, Mr. Ohr possesses key knowledge related to the National Security Division of the DOJ. In addition Mr. Ohr had interactions with Christopher Steele and more importantly Fusion-GPS and founder Glenn Simpson. Again, it is ABSOLUTELY not coincidental that Ohr was demoted twice, yet his overall employment never terminated.
As noted in (page 5, footnote 5) Brue Ohr, and possibly his wife, Nellie Ohr, have been questioned by FBI internal investigators at least twelve times:
Ohr FD-302 12/19/16 (interview date 11/22/16);
Ohr FD-302 12/19/16 (interview date 12/05/16);
Ohr FD-302 12/19/16 (interview date 12/12/16);
Ohr FD-302 12/27/16 (interview date 12/20/16);
Ohr FD-302 01/27/17 (interview date 01/27/17);
Ohr FD-302 01/31/17 (interview date 01/23/17);
Ohr FD-302 01/27/17 (interview date 01/25/17);
Ohr FD-302 02/08/17 (interview date 02/06/17);
Ohr FD-302 02/15/17 (interview date 02/14/17);
Ohr FD-302 05/10/17 (interview date 05/08/17);
Ohr FD-302 05/12/17 (interview date 05/12/17);
Ohr FD-302 05/16/17 (interview date 05/15/17).
Notice: Ohr was interviewed after the election four times [November 22nd, December: 5th, 12th, 20th, 2016] by the Obama FBI.
During those four 2016 interviews: President Obama, James Comey (FBI), Andrew McCabe (FBI), Loretta Lynch (DOJ), Sally Yates (DOJ), James Baker (FBI), Peter Strzok (FBI), Lisa Page (FBI), Jim Rybicki (FBI), Mary McCord (DOJ), Mike Kortan (FBI), Bill Priestap (FBI) and David Laufman (DOJ) were all still in place. The Inspector General investigation had not yet begun.
The timing of the first Ohr interview, November 22, 2016, is four days after NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers secretly went to see president-elect Trump in Trump Tower.
SIDEBAR – Question(s): Why was the FBI interviewing Bruce Ohr in 2016? Who, specifically, was interviewing Bruce Ohr in 2016 and for what purpose? [The IG investigation did not begin until mid January 2017]
Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr connect the activity from the DOJ (national security division) and FBI (counterintelligence division) together with Fusion GPS (Nellie’s 2016 employer, Glenn Simpson) and Christopher Steele (the recipient of the unwashed intelligence product).
Bruce Ohr is still employed by the DOJ. Bruce Ohr can identify the motives of John P Carlin (former DOJ-NSD head), along with Mary McCord (she replaced Carlin October 2016), Sally Yates (ran the big overall picture of the DOJ-NSD and protected the NSD from inspector general oversight); as well as Loretta Lynch.
During the 2015 and 2016 activities of the DOJ-NSD Bruce Ohr was the #4 person in the Main Justice hierarchy [1. Lynch, 2. Yates, 3.Carlin/McCord, then 4. Ohr].
There is a ton of investigative evidence unknown to the media and anyone outside of the work of both Michael Horowitz and John Huber. This lack of knowlege represents a legal risk to the participants in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 corrupt operations.
Lastly, the media has spent a year polishing the pedestal of Rod Rosenstein. It would be almost impossible for them to attempt to tear down his credibility now. The media’s former praise of Rosenstein can be an asset for investigators and a potential risk to the scheme team.
Along with the principals, the Executive Branch received the IG Draft Report on DOJ and FBI conduct surrounding the Clinton investigation last Thursday. Given the sensitivity of the issues involved, there is no doubt the President would be briefed on those findings most likely by Don McGahn (WH Counsel) and Chief-of-Staff John Kelly.
It seems serendipitous the same officials were all gathered in the Oval Office today. Just sayin’…
Based on the meeting with the President, the Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigations or the Department of Justices tactics concerning the Trump Campaign. It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested. (link)