A 2019 Judicial Watch FOIA Lawsuit resulted in the release of a May 16, 2017, memo written by then Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. [Link Here] At the time of the FOIA release most people focused on Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein willingness to wear a wire to record the President; however, the memo content actually revealed much more.
There are three aspects to the McCabe memo that warrant attention: (1) Rosenstein’s willingness to wear a wire. (2) Evidence that Rosenstein took Mueller to the White House on May 16, 2017, as a set-up to interview Mueller’s pending target; and (3) the CURRENT redactions to the memo indicate CURRENT efforts by the CURRENT AG Bill Barr to protect the corrupt intent of Rod Rosenstein. While all three points are alarming; given recent events the last aspect is most concerning.
In order to show the significance of this FOIA release CTH is going to present the McCabe memo in two different ways. First, by highlighting the raw memo release; and then secondly, to highlight the important context by inserting the memo into the timeline.
First, here’s the McCabe memo:
There are two important background contexts that help understand what is written in the McCabe memo, as contrast with the events at the time:
The first two substantive issues within the McCabe memo can only be accurately absorbed against the background of those two context links.
Now we can insert the McCabe memo information into the timeline. This will help better understand what was happening in/around the dates in question.
Start by noting the May 16, 2017, date of the meeting at 12:30pm is immediately before Rod Rosenstein took Robert Mueller for an interview with President Trump in the oval office. The oval office “interview” is where Mueller reportedly left his “cell phone” at the White House.
“Crossfire Hurricane” – During 2016, after the November election, and throughout the transition period into 2017, the FBI had a counterintelligence investigation ongoing against Donald Trump. FBI Director James Comey’s memos were part of this time-period as the FBI small group was gathering evidence. Then Comey was fired….
♦Tuesday May 9th – James Comey was fired at approximately 5:00pm EST. Later we discover Rod Rosenstein first contacted Robert Mueller about the special counsel appointment less than 15 hours after James Comey was fired.
♦Wednesday May 10th – From congressional testimony we know DAG Rod Rosenstein called Robert Mueller to discuss the special counsel appointment on Wednesday May 10th, 2017, at 7:45am. [See Biggs questions to Mueller at 2:26 of video]
According to his own admissions (NBC and CBS), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe immediately began a criminal ‘obstruction’ investigation. Wednesday May 10th; and he immediately enlisted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
A few hours after the Rosenstein-Mueller phone call James Comey’s office was being searched by the SSA Whistleblower per the IG report on Comey’s memos.
♦Thursday May 11th – Andrew McCabe testified to congress. With the Comey firing fresh in the headlines. McCabe testified there had been no effort to impede the FBI investigation.
Also on Thursday May 11th, 2017, The New York Times printed an article, based on information seemingly leaked by James Comey, about a dinner conversation between the President and the FBI Director. The “Loyalty” article [link]. The IG report shows: “[Daniel] Richman confirmed to the OIG that he was one of the sources for the May 11 article, although he said he was not the source of the information in the article about the Trump Tower briefing“.
♦Friday May 12th – Andrew McCabe met with DAG Rod Rosenstein to discuss the the ongoing issues with the investigation and firing. Referencing the criminal ‘obstruction’ case McCabe had opened just two days before. According to McCabe:
… “[Rosenstein] asked for my thoughts about whether we needed a special counsel to oversee the Russia case. I said I thought it would help the investigation’s credibility. Later that day, I went to see Rosenstein again. This is the gist of what I said: I feel strongly that the investigation would be best served by having a special counsel.” (link)
According to Andy Biggs questioning of Mueller, on this same day, May 12th, evidence shows Robert Mueller met “in person” with Rod Rosenstein. This is the same day when SSA Whistleblower went to James Comey’s house to retrieve FBI material and both Rybicki and Comey never informed the agent about the memos:
May 12th, is the date noted by David Archey when FBI investigators had assembled all of the Comey memos as evidence. However, no-one in the FBI outside the “small group” knows about them.
♦On Saturday May 13th, 2017, another meeting between Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller, this time with AG Jeff Sessions also involved. [Per Andy Biggs]
♦Sunday May 14th – Comey transmitted copies of Memos 2, 4, and 6, and a partially redacted copy of Memo 7 to Patrick Fitzgerald, who was one of Comey’s personal attorneys. Fitzgerald received the email and PDF attachment from Comey at 2:27 p.m. on May 14, 2017, per the IG report.
♦Monday May 15th, McCabe states he and Rosenstein conferred again about the Special Counsel approach. McCabe: “I brought the matter up with him again after the weekend.”
On this same day was when James Rybicki called SSA Whistleblower to notify him of Comey’s memos. The memos were “stored” in a “reception area“, and in locked drawers in James Rybicki’s office.
♦Tuesday May 16th – Per the IG report: “On the morning of May 16, Comey took digital photographs of both pages of Memo 4 with his personal cell phone. Comey then sent both photographs, via text message, to Richman.
Back in Main Justice at 12:30pm Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, Jim Crowell and Tashina Guahar all appear to be part of this meeting. I should note that alternate documentary evidence, gathered over the past two years, supports the content of this McCabe memo. Including the text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:
[Sidebar: pay attention to the redactions; they appear to be placed by existing DOJ officials in an effort to protect Rod Rosenstein for his duplicity in: (A) running the Mueller sting operation at the white house on the same day; and (B) the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, which was pre-determined before the Oval Office meeting.
While McCabe was writing this afternoon memo, Rod Rosenstein was taking Robert Mueller to the White House for a meeting in the oval office with President Trump and VP Mike Pence. While they were meeting in the oval office, and while McCabe was writing his contemporaneous memo, the following story was published by the New York Times (based on Comey memo leaks to Richman):
Also during the approximate time of this Oval Office meeting, Peter Strzok texts with Lisa Page about information being relayed to him by Tashina Guahar (main justice) on behalf of Rod Rosenstein (who is at the White House).
Later that night, after the Oval Office meeting – According to the Mueller report, additional events on Tuesday May 16th, 2017:
It is interesting that Tashina Gauhar was taking notes presumably involved in the 12:30pm 5/16/17 meeting between, Jim Crowell, Rod Rosenstein, and Andrew McCabe. But McCabe makes no mention of Lisa Page being present.
It appears there was another meeting in the evening (“later that night”) after the visit to the White House with Robert Mueller. This evening meeting appears to be Lisa Page, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe; along with Tashina Gauhar again taking notes.
♦ Wednesday May 17th, 2017: Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe go to brief the congressional “Gang-of-Eight”: Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.
… […] “On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case.”
[…] “After reminding the committee of how the investigation began, I told them of additional steps we had taken. Then Rod took over and announced that he had appointed a special counsel to pursue the Russia investigation, and that the special counsel was Robert Mueller.” (link)
Immediately following this May 17, 2017, Go8 briefing, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein notified the public of the special counsel appointment.
We Exit The Timeline:
♦Back to the memo. Notice the participants: Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Tashina Gauhar and Jim Crowell:
♦Back to the redactions. Notice how in the McCabe memo FOIA release, the DOJ is redacting the aspects of the appointment of a special counsel.
The redaction justification: b(5) “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.” Or put another way: stuff we just don’t want to share: “personal privacy” etc.
Again, when combined with the testimony by Mueller in response to the questioning by Rep. Andy Biggs, the redacted information looks like current DOJ officials hiding the timing of the decision-making to appoint Mueller, thereby protecting Rod Rosenstein.
More motive for this scenario shows up during a statement by Matt Whitaker who appeared on Tucker Carlson television show. Whitaker outlined why Rosenstein could never admit to having said he would wear a wire at the time the story broke.
When the “wear-a-wire” story first surfaced was when DAG Rosenstein was trying to convince President Trump not to declassify any information until after the Mueller special counsel was concluded. Rosenstein’s justification for his instructions surrounded President Trump possibly obstructing justice during Mueller’s investigation.
Reminder when Rod Rosenstein convinced President Trump not to declassify the documents that were being requested by Congress (Sept. 2018):
While McCabe is a known liar, there is enough ancillary supportive information, circumstantial and direct evidence, to make the content of the McCabe memo essentially accurate.
Also Rod Rosenstein expanded the scope of Mueller’s investigation twice, the second time in October 2017 targeting Michael Flynn Jr. Also, Rosenstein participated in the indictment of fictitious Russia trolls and a Russian catering company. Yes, all indications are that Rod Rosenstein was a willing participant in the overall McCabe/Mueller effort. We have not been allowed to see those scope memos.
Ultimately all of the DOJ delay and hidden information under AG Bill Barr appears to have an identical motive: help protect Rod Rosenstein.
That effort continues with the lack of released information and the ongoing, internal, DOJ and FBI redactions…
….The problem for Attorney General Bill Barr is not investigating what we don’t know, but rather navigating through what ‘We The People’ are already aware of…. (link)