A lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch has unearthed an email [full pdf below] from Clinton Lawyer David Kendall to FBI chief legal counsel James Baker on the day the FBI was forced to re-open the Clinton email investigation due to the Weiner laptop.
With the passage of time the inherent issues have become somewhat clouded, and most people have forgotten many of the inherent issues that showcased how the FBI and DOJ had decided in advance not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. However, the key takeaway from this latest FOIA finding is that Clinton lawyers directly contacted the FBI team that was investigating the Weiner laptop. (Note: read email chain bottom to top)
The Weiner laptop emails were originally discovered by New York investigators and reported to the FBI office in Washington DC on September 28th, 2016. However, the FBI never took action to review the emails until a month later on October 28th.
It was DOJ officials within SDNY (Southern District of New York) who called Main Justice (DOJ in DC) and asked about a needed search warrant a month later that kicked off the review.
Let’s look at the Page/Strzok messages and remind ourselves of what was going on.
Here are the messages from Lisa Page and Peter Strzok surrounding the original date that New York officials notified Washington DC FBI. It’s important to note the two different entities: DOJ -vs- FBI.
According to the September 28, 2016, messages from FBI Agent Peter Strzok it was the SDNY in New York telling Andrew McCabe in DC about the issue. Pay close attention to the convo:
Notice: “hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s attorney to SDNY”. This is not an outcome of a New York Police Dept. raid on Anthony Weiner. This is Weiner’s attorney going to the U.S. attorney and voluntarily turning over the laptop and by extension the emails. The emails were not turned over to the FBI in New York, the actual emails were turned over to the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District, Preet Bahara.
The SDNY then called the FBI Mid-Year-Exam team in Washington DC, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was notified, and then nothing happened for over three weeks.
On October 21, 2016, a phone call kicks off additional inquiry. This is the call referenced by James Comey in the Bret Baier interview.
Someone from New York called “Main Justice” (the DOJ National Security Division in DC) and notified DOJ-NSD Deputy Asst. Attorney General George Toscas of the Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton emails via the “weiner investigation”.
Peter Strzok then tells Bill Priestap. Of course, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe already knew about the emails since September 28th, 2016, more than three weeks earlier.
That phone call kicks off an internal debate about the previously closed Clinton email investigation. And Andrew McCabe sitting on the notification from New York for over three weeks kicks off a second internal FBI discussion about McCabe needing to recuse himself because of the optics of his doing nothing.
It’s October 27th, 2016, James Comey chief-of-staff Jim Rybicki wants McCabe to recuse himself. But Rybicki is alone on an island. Lisa Page is furious at such a suggestion, partly because she is McCabe’s legal counsel and if McCabe is recused so too is she.
At the same time as they are debating how to handle the Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton emails, the FBI begin leaking to the media to frame a specific narrative. The issue of them sitting on the laptop for three weeks and doing nothing is a potentially damning detail.
Important to note here: at no time is there any conversation -or hint of a conversation- that anyone is reviewing the content of the laptop emails. The discussions don’t mention a single word about content… every scintilla of conversation is about how to handle the issues of the emails themselves. Actually, there’s not a single person mentioned in thousands of text messages that applies to an actual person who is looking at any content.
Quite simply: there is a glaringly transparent lack of an “investigation”.
Within this “tight group” at FBI, as Comey puts it, there is not a single mention of a person who is sitting somewhere looking through the reported “600,000” Clinton emails that was widely reported by media. There’s absolutely ZERO evidence of anyone looking at emails or scouring through laptop data…. and FBI Agent Peter Strzok has no staff under him who he discusses assigned to such a task…. and Strzok damned sure ain’t doing it.
It’s still October 27th, 2016, the day before James Comey announces his FBI decision to re-open the Clinton investigation. Jim Rybicki is still saying McCabe should be recused from input; everyone else, including FBI Legal Counsel James Baker, is disagreeing with Rybicki and siding with Lisa Page.
Meanwhile the conversation has shifted slightly to “PC”, probable cause. Read:
While Lisa Page is leaking stories to Devlin Barrett (Wall Street Journal), the internal discussion amid the “small group” is about probable cause.
The team is now saying if there was no probable cause when Comey closed the original email investigation in July 2016 (remember the very tight boundaries of review), then there’s no probable cause in October 2016 to reopen the investigation regardless of what the email content might be. The inspector general report from June 2018 explains why:
The DOJ’s legal interpretation of “intent”, as a prerequisite for criminal charges based on transmission of classified data, virtually assured Clinton would not be prosecuted.
This appears to be how the FBI “small group” or “tight team” justify doing nothing with the content and notification received from New York (SDNY). They received notification of the emails on September 28th and it’s now October 27th, and they haven’t even looked at them. Heck, they are debating if there’s even a need to look at it.
Then on October 28th, 2016, the FBI and Main Justice officials have a conference call about the entire Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton email issue. Here’s where it gets interesting.
George Toscas and David Laufman from DOJ-NSD articulate a position that something needs to happen because Main Justice is now concerned about the issue of FBI (McCabe) sitting on the emails for over three weeks without any feedback to SDNY (New York).
Comey later admitted in his memoir “A Higher Loyalty,” that political calculations shaped his decisions during this period. But, he wrote, they were calibrated to help Clinton:
“Assuming, as nearly everyone did, that Hillary Clinton would be elected president of the United States in less than two weeks, what would happen to the FBI, the Justice Department or her own presidency if it later was revealed, after the fact, that she still was the subject of an FBI investigation?”
Thanks to the political decision of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Main Justice in DC, specifically DOJ National Security Division, now looks like they are facilitating a cover-up operation being conducted by the FBI “small group”. [which is actually true, but they can’t let that be so glaringly obvious]. FBI Director James Comey is worried that if anyone found out they had sat on this laptop discovery a “President Clinton” would then come under investigation….. how would the FBI explain themselves?
As a result of the Top-Tier officials conference call, FBI Agent Strzok is grumpy because his opinion appears to be insignificant; the discussion is above his pay grade.
The decision is now reached to announce the re-opening of the investigation. This sends Lisa Page bananas…
…In rapid response mode Lisa Page reaches out to journalist Devlin Barrett, again to quickly shape the media coverage. Now that the world is going to be aware of the need for a Clinton email investigation 2.0 the internal conversation returns to McCabe’s recusal.
Please note that at no time in the FBI is anyone directing an actual investigation of the content of the Clinton emails. Every single second of every effort is devoted to shaping the public perception of the need for the investigation. According to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page every media outlet is being watched; every article is being read; and the entire apparatus of the small group (James Baker, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Mike Kortan et al) is shaping coverage therein by contacting their leak outlets.
The laptop emails Anthony Weiner’s lawyer brought to Preet Bharara (SDNY) might have been Anthony Weiner’s leverage to try and escape NY prosecution. Eric Prince outlined the content of that laptop as carrying much more than just Clinton emails:
“Because of Weinergate and the sexting scandal, the NYPD started investigating it. Through a subpoena, through a warrant, they searched his laptop, and sure enough, found those 650,000 emails. They found way more stuff than just more information pertaining to the inappropriate sexting the guy was doing,” Prince claimed.
“They found State Department emails. They found a lot of other really damning criminal information, including money laundering, including the fact that Hillary went to this sex island with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Clinton went there more than 20 times. Hillary Clinton went there at least six times,” he said.
“The amount of garbage that they found in these emails, of criminal activity by Hillary, by her immediate circle, and even by other Democratic members of Congress was so disgusting they gave it to the FBI, and they said, ‘We’re going to go public with this if you don’t reopen the investigation and you don’t do the right thing with timely indictments,’” Prince explained.
“I believe – I know, and this is from a very well-placed source of mine at 1PP, One Police Plaza in New York – the NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making in this investigation, and they’ve gotten huge pushback, to the point of coercion, from the Justice Department, with the Justice Department threatening to charge someone that had been unrelated in the accidental heart attack death of Eric Garner almost two years ago. That’s the level of pushback the Obama Justice Department is doing against actually seeking justice in the email and other related criminal matters,” Prince said. (Link)
There’s never been any investigation that would disprove the laptop content was not what Eric Prince’s sources outlined. However, the SDNY, responding to upper level leadership from Main Justice and FBI in DC, turned over all material and essentially the laptop was buried.
In DC the FBI (Comey and McCabe) created the appearance of a re-opening of the Clinton investigation on October 28th, 2016, to keep control and ensure the investigative outcomes remained in their hands; as Comey said: “they had no choice.”
However, once the FBI opened the investigation October 28th, they did exactly the same thing they had done from September 28th to October 28th… they did nothing. A few days later they declared the second investigation closed, and that was that.
Again, they never expected her to lose.
When she did lose, panic ensued.
Now does Mueller make more sense?
The widely held view of the process is/was that Rod Rosenstein selected Robert Mueller as special counsel, and following that selection Mueller created his team. The perspective from CTH research is slightly different.
CTH believes that following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the FBI Chief Legal Counsel, Jim Baker and FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe; together with the corrupt small group that was involved in the prior year’s counterintelligence investigation; reacted to Comey’s firing by pressuring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint their preferred person, Robert Mueller.
Within this internal debate (May 2017); at the time this construct was being argued; is when the famous comment from Rosenstein originates: “what do you want me to do, wear a wire?” The corrupt FBI investigative crew; having initiated and continued “Crossfire Hurricane”; including people from the DOJ-NSD side (Ohr, Weissmann, etc) were pressuring Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel….. but not just any special counsel.. Baker and McCabe had the person pre-selected. That person was Robert Mueller.
They needed Robert Mueller because they needed a person who held a similar level of risk from prior activity exposure as themselves. Mueller, directly or indirectly, was at the center of multiple Obama and Clinton abuses of power.
Obviously we can see the reason for this FBI/DOJ crew to need a special counsel. As career corruptocrats they were operating from a mindset of mitigating risk to themselves and continuing to advance on the objective to attack the executive office through their investigative schemes.
The key point here is subtle but very significant. Robert Mueller didn’t select his team, the corrupt team, the “small group”, selected him.
There is a great deal of inconsistent application of law surrounding the DOJ/FBI investigative authority during 2015 and 2016. There is also a great deal of fatigue surrounding discussion of those inconsistent applications. Contradictions, inconsistency and obtuse justifications are as rampant in our midst as the political narratives shaping them. Perhaps that’s by design. WATCH:
Reading Chapter 11 of the June 2018 IG Report reinforces an acceptance that not only is there a need for a special counsel, but there is a brutally obvious need for multiple special counsels; each given a specific carve-out investigation that comes directly from the content of the Inspector General report. This issue of the handling of the Weiner/Abedin laptop screams for a special counsel investigation on that facet alone. Why?
Well, consider this from page #388 (emphasis mine):
Midyear agents obtained a copy of the Weiner laptop from NYO immediately after the search warrant was signed on October 30.
The laptop was taken directly to Quantico where the FBI’s Operational Technology Division (OTD) began processing the laptop. The Lead Analyst told us that given the volume of emails on the laptop and the difficulty with de-duplicating the emails that “at least for the first few days, the scale of what we’re doing seem[ed] really, really big.”
Strzok told us that OTD was able “to do some amazing things” to “rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop, which significantly lowered the number of emails that the Midyear team would have to individually review. Strzok stated that only after that technological breakthrough did he begin to think it was “possible we might wrap up before the election.” (pg 388)
The key takeaway here is two-fold. First, the laptop is in the custody of the FBI; that’s important moving forward (I’ll explain later). Also, specifically important, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigative authority in the Hillary Clinton MYE (Mid-Year-Exam), is explaining to the IG how they were able to process an exhaustive volume of emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) in a few days; [Oct 30 to Nov 5]
Note: “OTD was able “to do some amazing things to rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop.”
OK, you got that?
Now lets look at the very next page, #389 (again, emphasis mine):
[…] The FBI determined that Abedin forwarded two of the confirmed classified emails to Weiner. The FBI reviewed 6,827 emails that were either to or from Clinton and assessed 3,077 of those emails to be “potentially work-related.”
The FBI analysis of the review noted that “[b]ecause metadata was largely absent, the emails could not be completely, automatically de-duplicated or evaluated against prior emails recovered during the investigation” and therefore the FBI could not determine how many of the potentially work-related emails were duplicative of emails previously obtained in the Midyear investigation. (pg 389)
See the problem? See the contradiction?
Strzok is saying due to some amazing wizardry the FBI forensics team was able to de-duplicate the emails. However, FBI forensics is saying they were NOT able to de-duplicate the emails.
Both of these statements cannot be true. And therein lies the underlying evidence to support a belief the laptop content was never actually reviewed. But it gets worse, much worse….
To show how it’s FBI Agent Peter Strzok that is lying; go back to chapter #9 and re-read what the New York case agent was saying about the content of the laptop.
The New York FBI analysis supports the FBI forensic statement in that no de-duplication was possible because the metadata was not consistent. The New York FBI Weiner case agent ran into this metadata issue when using extraction software on the laptop.
CHAPTER 9: The case agent assigned to the Weiner investigation was certified as a Digital Extraction Technician and, as such, had the training and skills to extract digital evidence from electronic devices.
The case agent told the OIG that he began processing Weiner’s devices upon receipt on September 26. The case agent stated that he noticed “within hours” that there were “over 300,000 emails on the laptop.”
The case agent told us that on either the evening of September 26 or the morning of September 27, he noticed the software program on his workstation was having trouble processing the data on the laptop. (pg 274)
The New York Case Agent then describes how inconsistent metadata within the computer files for the emails and Blackberry communications, made it impossible for successful extraction. The FBI NY case agent and the Quantico FBI forensics agent agree on the metadata issue and the inability to use their software programs for extraction and layered comparison for the purposes of de-duplication.
Both NY and Quantico contradict the statement to the IG by FBI Agent Peter Strzok. However, that contradiction, while presented in a factual assertion by the IG, is entirely overlooked and never reconciled within the inspector general report. That irreconcilable statement also sheds more sunlight on the motives of Strzok.
Next up, there were only three FBI people undertaking the October Clinton email review. To learn who they are we jump back to Chapter #11, page #389.
The Midyear team flagged all potentially work-related emails encountered during the review process and compared those to emails that they had previously reviewed in other datasets. Any work-related emails that were unique, meaning that they did not appear in any other dataset, were individually reviewed by the Lead Analyst, [Peter] Strzok, and FBI Attorney 1 [Tashina Gauhar] for evidentiary value. (pg 389)
Pete Strzok, Tash Gauhar and the formerly unknown lead analyst we now know to be Sally Moyer. That’s it. Three people.
This is the crew that created the “wizardry” that FBI Director James Comey says allowed him to tell congress with confidence that 1,355,980 electronic files (pg 389), containing 350,000 emails and 344,000 Blackberry communications were reviewed between October 30th and the morning of November 6th, 2016.
Pete, Tash, and Sally the lead analyst. Uh huh.
The Inspector General just presents the facts; that’s obviously what he did. Then it’s up to FBI and DOJ leadership to accept the facts, interpret them, and apply their meaning.
But FBI is committed to bias training?
There is an actual hero in all of this though. It’s that unnamed FBI Case Agent in New York who wouldn’t drop the laptop issue and forced the FBI in DC to take action on the laptop. Even the IG points this out (chapter #9, page 331):
We found that what changed between September 29 and October 27 that finally prompted the FBI to take action was not new information about what was on the Weiner laptop but rather the inquiries from the SDNY prosecutors and then from the Department. The only thing of significance that had changed was the calendar and the fact that people outside of the FBI were inquiring about the status of the Weiner laptop. (pg 331)
Those SDNY prosecutors only called Main Justice in DC because the New York case agent went in to see them and said he wasn’t going to be the scape goat for a buried investigation (chapter #9, pg 303) “The case agent told us that he scheduled a meeting on October 19 with the two SDNY AUSAs assigned to the Weiner investigation because he felt like he had nowhere else to turn.” … “The AUSAs both told us that the case agent appeared to be very stressed and worried that somehow he would be blamed in the end if no action was taken.”
On October 20, 2016, the AUSAs met with their supervisors at SDNY and informed them of their conversation with the Weiner case agent. The AUSAs stated that they told their supervisors the substantive information reported by the case agent, the case agent’s concerns that no one at the FBI had expressed interest in this information, and their concern that the case agent was stressed out and might act out in some way. (pg 304)
Why would the New York Case Agent be worried?
Consider Page 274, footnote #165:
fn 165: No electronic record exists of the case agent’s initial review of the Weiner laptop. The case agent told us that at some point in mid-October 2016 the NYO ASAC instructed the case agent to wipe his work station. The case agent explained that the ASAC was concerned about the presence of potentially classified information on the case agent’s work station, which was not authorized to process classified information.
The case agent told us that he followed the ASAC’s instructions, but that this request concerned him because the audit trail of his initial processing of the laptop would no longer be available. The case agent clarified that none of the evidence on the Weiner laptop was impacted by this, explaining that the FBI retained the Weiner laptop and only the image that had been copied onto his work station was deleted. The ASAC recalled that the case agent “worked through the security department to address the concern” of classified information on an unclassified system. He told us that he did not recall how the issue was resolved.
Now watch the Devin Nunes embed tweet video:
- There were only three people in the Mid-Year-Event team granted authority to physically do the Clinton email review.
- They were: FBI Agent Peter Strzok, FBI Attorney-1 Tashina “Tash” Gauhar, and an Sally Moyer, the lead analyst.
- FBI Agent Peter Strzok says they were able to cull the number of emails through the use of “some amazing things to rapidly de-duplicate” the emails.
- The New York FBI case agent assigned to the Weiner investigation, a certified Digital Extraction Technician, as well as the FBI forensics team in Quantico say it was impossible to use the conflicted metadata to “de-duplicate” the emails.
- Someone is lying.
- FBI Director James Comey said his investigative unit used some form of “wizardry” to review the content of the Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner laptop.
- The Inspector General makes no determination as to who is telling the truth; and never asked the question of whether an actual review of the laptop emails took place.
- The FBI still has possession of the Abedin/Weiner laptop?