The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Prince

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The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Prince

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:14 pm

The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight
01/17/2017 11:19 pm ET | Updated 6 hours ago


On November 4, Erik Prince used Breitbart to spread disinformation domestically. Mr. Trump rewarded him for it.
Seth Abramson
Image

Attorney; Assistant Professor at University of New Hampshire; Poet; Editor, Best American Experimental Writing; Editor, Metamodern Studies.

Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey into interfering in, and thus directly affecting, the 2016 presidential election.

This conspiracy was made possible with the assistance of officers in the New York Police Department and agents within the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the major actors in the conspiracy have already confessed to its particulars either in word or in deed; moreover, all of the major actors have publicly exhibited consciousness of guilt after the fact. This assessment has already been the subject of articles in news outlets on both sides of the political spectrum, but has not yet received substantial investigation by major media.

While a full summary of the Prince-Giuliani-Trump conspiracy would require a longer discourse, the actions of these men, along with multiple still-anonymous actors, can be summarized in five paragraphs. It will be for journalists with more resources than this writer to follow up on these leads—and, moreover, to see how this domestic conspiracy dovetails with the Trump-Russia controversy, though this too is briefly addressed below.

In addition to the paragraphs here, this article incorporates its three predecessors (I, II, III).

1. As reported by the New York Times, FBI Director James Comey released his now-infamous October 27th letter in substantial part because he had determined that “word of the new emails [found on Anthony Weiner’s computer]...was sure to leak out.” Comey worried that if the leak occurred at a time when the nature and evidentiary value of the “new” emails was unknown, he “risked being accused of misleading Congress and the public ahead of an election.” By October 27th, the FBI had had access to Weiner’s computer—which it originally received from NYPD—since October 3rd, during which interval the Bureau had both the time and IT know-how to determine that the “new” emails in its possession were in fact duplicate emails from accounts already revealed to the Bureau by Clinton, her aide Huma Abedin, and the State Department. However, when Comey was briefed on the case by agents from the New York field office on October 26th, he discovered that not only had this IT work not been done, but in fact no warrant to seize the full emails had been sought, no permission to read the emails had been requested from cooperating witnesses Weiner and Abedin, and indeed nothing but a summary of the emails’ “meta-data” (non-content header information) had been prepared by his agents. The result of this investigative nonfeasance was that Comey feared he would not be able to get a warrant for the emails and confirm them as duplicates prior to Election Day—a fact that would allow anti-Clinton elements within NYPD and the FBI, and Trump surrogates and advisers with sources in these organizations, to mischaracterize the “new” emails in a way that would swing the election to Trump. As long as the Clinton investigation remained open, Comey would not be able to respond to such misinformation; his only hope of keeping public discussion of the “new” emails within the sphere of reality was to use the cover of a prior promise to Congress to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation—and then close that investigation in short order.

2. The effort to intimidate Comey into publicly commenting on the Clinton case—a win-win scenario for Trump, as either a comment from Comey or silence from Comey (the latter coupled with inaccurate, Hatch Act-violative leaks by the FBI, NYPD, and/or the Trump campaign) would sink Clinton—began concurrent to Comey’s October 26th briefing on the Clinton case. In an October 25th Fox & Friends appearance and an October 26th appearance on Fox News with Martha McCallum, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s closest advisers, began teasing an October “surprise” which, Giuliani said, would turn the tide against Hillary Clinton. He refused to say what the forthcoming surprise would be, but he indicated that it would be coming in just a few days. Meanwhile, Erik Prince—the founder of Blackwater private security, one of Trump’s biggest donors, a conspiracy theorist who’d previously accused Huma Abedin of being a terrorist in the employ of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a man who blamed Clinton family friend and former Clinton Chief of Staff Leon Panetta for outing him as a CIA asset in 2009—was positioning himself to play an important role. Just as Giuliani had boasted on the Mark Larson radio program on October 28th that he had sources within the FBI—active agents—who had told him of virulent anti-Clinton sentiment in the New York field office and an internal rebellion against Comey’s July decision not to indict Clinton, Prince claimed to have sources within the Weiner investigation who were illegally leaking information to him. In Prince’s case, the sources were within NYPD, and the information he relayed from them to Breitbart News on November 4th—when it was not yet known that Comey, the next day, would reveal the “new” Clinton emails to be duplicates—turned out to be almost entirely false. The full extent of Prince’s lies on November 4th, all of which were Trump campaign disinformation delivered by an adviser and major donor to the campaign, are too numerous and spectacular to list here. Two brief quotes from Breitbart’s interview with Prince should suffice:

Prince claimed he had insider knowledge of the investigation that could help explain why FBI Director James Comey had to announce he was reopening the investigation into Clinton’s email server last week....”[NYPD] found a lot of other really damning criminal information [on Weiner’s computer], including money laundering, including the fact that Hillary went to this sex island with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Clinton went there more than twenty 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 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.”
Virtually all of this is untrue. Prince continued:

“So NYPD first gets that computer. They see how disgusting it is. They keep a copy of everything, and they pass a copy on to the FBI, which finally pushes the FBI off their chairs, making Comey reopen that investigation, which was indicated in the letter last week. The point being, NYPD has all the information, and they will pursue justice within their rights if the FBI doesn’t. There is all kinds of criminal culpability through all the emails they’ve seen of that 650,000, including money laundering, underage sex, pay-for-play, and, of course, plenty of proof of inappropriate handling, sending/receiving of classified information, up to Special Access Programs....The point being, fortunately, it’s not just the FBI; five different offices are in the hunt for justice, but the NYPD has it as well....From what I understand, up to the commissioner or at least the chief level in NYPD, they wanted to have a press conference, and DOJ, Washington people, political appointees have been exerting all kinds of undue pressure on them to back down....This kind of evil, this kind of true dirt on Hillary Clinton—look, you don’t have to make any judgments. Just release the emails. Just dump them. Let them out there. Let people see the light of truth.”
Prince’s statements of November 4th—whether given with the knowledge that they were untrue or without any knowledge of their accuracy whatsoever—underscore the sort of disinformation Comey feared would be given to voters, and, more importantly, believed by voters, if he did not complete his investigation into the duplicate emails and announce his findings before Election Day. This alone explains his deviation from FBI protocol prohibiting discussion of open cases (and announcements regarding major investigations within two months of a general election).

3. It seems clear that Giuliani, who was the top surrogate for the Trump campaign and in near-daily contact with the candidate, acted under orders from Trump, and that Prince either acted under orders from Trump or Steve Bannon—well-known to Prince from their mutual association with, and financial investment in, Breitbart and its ownership, including Robert Mercer—and, moreover, that all those associated with the conspiracy were subsequently rewarded. Erik Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, was named Education Secretary by Trump, despite having no experience for the job other than advocating sporadically for charter schools in Michigan. Prince himself was named a shadow adviser to Trump, even though, by November 8th, the fact that his statements to Breitbart had been part of a domestic disinformation campaign was clear. Prince is so close to Trump that he appears to have been present at the election-night returns-watching party to which Trump invited only close friends and associates; Prince’s wife posted pictures of the event. Giuliani, originally assured a Cabinet position and then separated from the Trump team entirely—perhaps as punishment for his carelessness on Fox News—was then given a highly lucrative but substance-free position within the administration on the same day, January 12th, that the DOJ announced that the Inspector General would be investigating the sequence of events comprising the Prince-Giuliani-Trump conspiracy. Inspector General Horowitz noted that within his brief was investigation of the series of leaks that occurred between the NYPD, the FBI, and outside entities—including, we can surmise based on context, the Trump campaign.

4. Both polling, poll analysis, and internet meta-data (see below) confirm that the Comey Letter was sufficient to hand Trump the 77,143 combined votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania that won him the election. We know from the statements made by Giuliani, and from numerous statements made by Trump on the campaign trail, that both men believed the Clinton email server case could be leveraged to ensure Clinton’s defeat in November. It turns out they were correct.


5. By the time Christopher Steele, the former head of MI6’s Russia desk, disseminated his research into Donald Trump’s ties with Russia to American journalists and the American intelligence community—something he did, tellingly, when he was no longer being paid for the work—he had come to believe, per The Independent, that “there was a cover-up, that a cabal within the Bureau blocked a thorough inquiry into Mr. Trump, focusing instead on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.” Evidence substantiating this concern is legion: that the FBI had Steele’s memos as early as mid-summer of 2016, after the Clinton investigation was closed, but appeared to do no work on the case (which involved alleged treasonous conduct by the Republican nominee in collusion with a hostile foreign actor) between that time and Election Day; that FBI Director Comey was intimidated into revealing the status of the Clinton case on October 27th but would not, even in the face of numerous allegations of federal crimes against the president-elect, reveal anything about the Bureau’s investigation into that matter; or that the Clinton and Weiner investigators at NYPD and the FBI appear to have leaked repeatedly to the Trump campaign, yet there have been no leaks whatsoever regarding the FBI and CIA’s ongoing investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia. It is thus clear that better understanding the scope, purpose, and players of the domestic conspiracy to elect Donald Trump will also shed light on how the FBI and CIA managed to conduct little or no investigation of criminal allegations exponentially more serious than any of those leveled against Hillary Clinton.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the ... 10fe11dbf9


Bigger Than Watergate? Legitimate Concerns That Anti-Clinton Faction Within FBI May Have Conspired To Hand Election To Trump
12/14/2016 01:45 am ET | Updated Dec 15, 2016
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Seth Abramson

Attorney; Assistant Professor at University of New Hampshire; Poet; Editor, Best American Experimental Writing; Editor, Metamodern Studies.
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An Outline of What Increasingly Exhibits the Hallmarks of a Criminal Conspiracy

Unlike the effect of Russian interference on the 2016 presidential campaign, the effect—in votes—of the now-infamous “Comey Letter” is knowable.

While various media outlets downplayed the effect at the time, the hard data is unmistakable: according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll taken immediately after FBI Director Comey’s end-of-October announcement that the FBI would be reviewing additional evidence in the Clinton email-server case, one-third of likely voters reported that the revelation made them “much less likely” to vote for Clinton.

In an election Clinton lost by just 77,143 combined votes in three states—out of well over 136 million votes cast—this sort of polling data is one indication that Comey’s announcement could have cost Clinton millions of votes nationwide. But looking inside the Politico/Morning Consult data, we find much more evidence for that conclusion: specifically, the fact that while 26% of the poll’s 33% figure comes from Trump voters, the remaining 7% comes from those reporting to be Clinton voters.

Seven percent of the total electorate on November 8th was just under ten million voters (around 9,550,000 voters, to be exact).

Divided by state using voter distribution data, that’s an estimated (ceteris paribus) 206,100 voters in Wisconsin, where Trump won by less than 23,000 votes; 332,500 voters in Michigan, where Trump won by less than 11,000 votes; and 423,600 voters in Pennsylvania, where Trump won by less than 45,000 votes.

If even the smallest fraction of these “much less likely” Clinton voters were telling pollsters the truth about their intentions approximately a week before the election, their changed votes (or even their decision to abstain from voting) was more than enough to cost Clinton the election.

In Wisconsin, only an estimated 11.2% of newly disgruntled Clinton voters needed to be telling the truth about their new view of Clinton for their lost votes to have swung the state; in Michigan, that figure is 3.3%; in Pennsylvania, 10.6%. Professional pollsters can tell you what percentage of their data is reliable a week out from a general election—and it’s a much higher percentage than that. (And note that all of these figures measure the effect of a would-be Clinton voter deciding not to vote at all due to the Comey Letter; any prospective Clinton voters who voted for Trump instead of Clinton because of the reopening of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email server of course count, if we reverse their decision, as a vote lost for Trump and one gained for Clinton. So the percentages above are likely high—indeed, as much as double the appropriate figures.)

Even accounting for a significantly uneven state-by-state distribution of newly disgruntled Clinton voters after Comey’s October Surprise—not that we’d expect one; there were clearly more voters on the fence and “still convincible” in Midwestern swing states in the days before the election than elsewhere—it would still be the case that that seemingly minute 7% figure was in fact more than enough to swing an election Trump won by 0.7% or less in the three states that ultimately decided the contest. And this fact remains even if we eliminate those Election-Day voters who became aware of (and were consequentially swayed by) the second, exculpatory letter Comey issued less than 48 hours before Election Day, on November 6th.

So it’s clear the Comey Letter was more than enough—as a matter of math—to put Trump in the White House. But if you don’t want to take the above statistics as proof, you can look at any of the hard data on this question compiled by the nation’s top pollster, Nate Silver—who came to exactly the same conclusion about the decisive nature of the Comey Letter’s effect on the presidential election.

So what we do if (as now seems possible) it turns out that the brouhaha over the “Abedin emails” less than two weeks before the presidential election was the result of collusion between investigators at NYPD or the New York field office of the FBI trying to prosecute the husband of Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, FBI investigators trying to prosecute Clinton herself (and prevented from doing so because of decisions made by their boss), and one of Trump’s closest confidants and (until four days ago) a shoo-in to join his Cabinet, former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani?

What should the electors of the Electoral College do on December 19th if it’s confirmed, in the coming 72 hours, that Clinton lost the White House because of a scandal so much more far-reaching than Watergate as to make that impeachment-level conspiracy pale in comparison?

Obviously, before we get there, we have to look at the facts.

The purpose of this article is to detail facts that have already been reported—but not properly connected—in the major media, and to then use these facts to issue a rational and reasoned call for further investigation of this matter prior to the Electoral College vote this coming Monday.

So here’s a recap of the facts that suggest a bigger-than-Watergate scandal having turned the tide in the 2016 election:

On October 3rd of this year, just over five weeks before the presidential election, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents received a computer from Anthony Weiner and almost immediately determined that the computer contained emails by a person at the heart of the then-closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s home email server, that being Weiner’s estranged wife (and Clinton’s top aide) Huma Abedin. It’s as yet unclear whether NYPD had possession of the computer prior to the FBI, and how involved Weiner himself was in turning the computer over to law enforcement. But we know that the FBI had the computer beginning on October 3rd, and that agents in the New York field office immediately discovered emails from Abedin on its hard drive.

For 24 days, these FBI agents kept their discovery a secret from their own boss, FBI Director James Comey. They only informed him of their potentially history-altering discovery on October 27th, less than two weeks before the general election.

Even today, nobody knows why these agents kept their critical discovery secret from the one man with the power to immediately direct them as to how to proceed with what they’d found.

The result of the agents’ decision not to inform their superior of information that he and only he could decide what to do with was the now-infamous “Comey Letter”: that is, Director Comey felt compelled to write a letter to Congress on October 28th informing them of the potentially explosive discovery of additional emails from Abedin on a computer Abedin had previously shared with Weiner.

It was a letter that would have been sent—if it would have been sent at all—several weeks earlier, had the agents in charge of the Weiner case sent their discovery up the chain of command in a timely and professional way. And had that letter been sent weeks earlier, the infamous “second Comey letter,” in which Comey conceded that the new Abedin emails were of no legal significance, would have been written before the early voting period in most states began—rather than just 48 hours before Election Day.

In fact, numerous reports in the mainstream media have concluded that Comey’s October intervention in the 2016 election, while unsettling to the Clinton campaign and unusual in the extreme, would have had no electoral impact had it come at the very beginning of the month.

And yet, all this is just what everyone already knows. What has been reported but isn’t being talked about—yet—is much more interesting.

According to The Washington Post, the FBI agents who had been investigating the husband of Clinton’s closest aide for months failed to disclose their new evidence to Comey because “they were trying to better assess what they had.”

That’s an explanation that doesn’t pass the smell test, however, given that the agents were forbidden by law from looking at any emails written by Huma Abedin without a search warrant. And they were so precluded from the moment they saw the very first email by Abedin to anyone other than the subject of their investigation, Anthony Weiner.

And yet, an FBI official with knowledge of the Weiner case told The Washington Post, “this is not a team that sits on its hands.”

So this quick-moving team of FBI agents knew they had emails from Huma Abedin; they knew they couldn’t read them; they knew Director Comey was still heading up the investigation to which those emails were (on their face) relevant; they told him nothing about the emails (which they themselves couldn’t look at or do anything with) for weeks, even though they knew Comey had the authority and legal standing to immediately seek a search warrant to look at those emails and determine their relevance; they made no attempt whatsoever to ask the computer’s joint owners for access to the emails, despite ready access to both parties (Weiner and Abedin); and yet this was, per reports, “not a team that sits on its hands.”

Okay.

It seems to have been a senior U.S. law enforcement official quoted by The Washington Post who summed it up best (though perhaps not in the way he or she intended): “I don’t think anyone was unaware of the calendar.”

The only explanation ever given for the delay—a legally incoherent one—was that the Weiner investigators needed three weeks to review the “meta-data” from the Abedin emails (per an article in The Guardian, the material to be reviewed was simply the “to” and “from” fields in the Abedin emails). This despite the fact that the moment the agents on the Weiner case saw even one email from Abedin to anyone else involved in the Clinton investigation, they’d have known they needed Comey to get a search warrant.

Indeed, they merely needed to find one email from Abedin to anyone, as Abedin had been required during the Clinton investigation to divulge the identities of and produce all computers with any emails of hers on them—and therefore the discovery of any Abedin email on any Abedin-accessed/Abedin-accessible computer not presently held by the FBI was an immediate indication that Abedin had withheld evidence from the Clinton-case investigators.

Therefore, the Weiner investigators had all the information they needed to send urgent word to Director Comey on October 3rd—the day they received Weiner’s computer and found their first Abedin email to someone other than Weiner.

But the agents had additional grounds to quickly resolve the nature of their “discovery,” which grounds they likewise ignored. Because of the email accounts involved in the “new” Abedin emails, it was clear from the start that all or nearly all of the emails discovered would be duplicates of those already held by the FBI—the reason being that the emails on Weiner’s computer were (quite conspicuously) mere backups “synched” to email accounts the FBI already had full access to. This is something that would have been immediately apparent to the trained forensic investigators at the FBI, but also could have been readily confirmed by speaking to either Weiner or Abedin (which the agents did not) or speaking to anyone working on the Clinton case (which the agents did). In any event, according to Newsweek, “from the opening moments of this inquiry, there were people in government who already knew what the outcome of this new FBI effort would be.” And yet, the agents in the New York field office of the FBI acted as though these new emails were a mystery and would require many weeks to understand and contextualize.

All of this is troubling, from the standpoint of a criminal attorney like myself, but it’s not enough to establish anything more than a sudden, inexplicable, catastrophic, and certainly inconveniently timed incompetence—with possibly some shoddy track-covering after the fact. (Put aside that we least expect incompetence in the most high-profile cases, and that this alone could lead a reasonable criminal attorney to at least suspect some systemic malfeasance here.)

But here, finally, are the twelve kickers—a dozen other data-points that make this whole narrative sound a lot more like a Watergate-level scandal.

(1) Abedin told people after the discovery that “she [was] unsure how her emails could have ended up” on the computer the FBI found them on, suggesting that if she’d ever been contacted by the FBI in early October she could have helped them dialogue through the situation (as the idea that she had deliberately withheld these emails from the FBI never made any sense, given the Bureau’s unwavering insistence that Abedin had always been cooperative with them, and the pointlessness of Abedin risking federal Obstruction of Justice charges and federal prison time to hide emails that were—as we now know—not just without any evidentiary value but in fact duplicates of emails she had already turned over to FBI investigators);

(2) consensus in the media and beyond, as summarized by The Washington Post, was that “an announcement from the FBI in early October, when the emails were discovered, might have been less politically damaging for Clinton than one coming less than two weeks before the Nov. 8 election,” a fact no one in the FBI could have failed to appreciate, given its obviousness (even notwithstanding the agents’ enormous, day-to-day professional investment in the situation);

(3) a report in The New York Times indicated that, during the more than three weeks the Weiner investigators kept their discovery from Director Comey, they nevertheless shared their new information with the ”tremendously angry” (see #6, below) rank-and-file FBI investigators from the Clinton email-server case (the New York Times having reported on October 30th that the discovery of “new” Abedin emails in early October “prompted a renewed interest among agents who had investigated Mrs. Clinton for her use of a private email server as Secretary of State” [emphasis supplied]);

(4) after the late-October revelation that the FBI had found new emails on Weiner’s computer on October 3rd, rank-and-file FBI agents told the media that “there was no chance the email review could be completed before Election Day” (thus ensuring it would disrupt the Clinton campaign through the casting of all ballots, early and in-person), only to be overruled by Director Comey within 24 hours, with Comey decreeing that the relevance of the new emails would be determined by Election Day (as it ultimately was, after many millions of Americans had voted early, and before many more millions could hear about the second, exculpatory Comey letter; nevertheless, the stark disparity between the rank-and-file’s comments to the media and Comey’s comments remains unexplained);

(5) a member of Trump’s inner circle, Rudy Giuliani, confessed on the Lars Larson radio program that current FBI agents working on the Clinton investigation had illegally leaked information to him about the Abedin emails before it became public and before Director Comey had been told of the emails, and, moreover, were intending to leak this information—if they were unable to get Comey to do it via the implicit threat of a leak—as an (in Giuliani’s words) pro-Trump “October Surprise,” thereby establishing a political motive among a faction of the FBI in the timing and dissemination of information about the emails (”Darn right I heard about it,” said Giuliani, “[and] I can’t even repeat the language I heard,” referring with this latter remark to the agents’ anger at not being able to indict Hillary Clinton for multiple federal felonies in July of 2016; concurrently, Jim Kallstrom, who headed the New York field office of the FBI in the 1990s, also admitted to Fox News to receiving leaks about the Clinton investigation from current FBI agents working on the case);

(6) Giuliani further disclosed that a faction of rank-and-file FBI agents within the New York field office felt “tremendous anger” toward both Director Comey, Hillary Clinton (the subject of their investigation, who they believed should have been indicted in July), and “a pretty corrupt Obama Justice Department” (many of whose officials might have retained their posts if Clinton were to win election to the presidency), and we know from The Chicago Tribune that Comey wrote “the Comey Letter” only because he believed these same rogue FBI agents in New York were planning to leak the “new” evidence in the Weiner case (which leak would have violated numerous federal criminal statutes, and which plan to leak would already be regarded as a criminal conspiracy by law);

(7) the Abedin emails turned out to have no evidentiary value, and indeed were in many instances duplicates of emails already held by the FBI, which fact Comey likely could have determined himself even from meta-data alone (had he been given the opportunity to do so during the first week of October);

(8) Giuliani mysteriously took himself out of the running for any position within the Trump administration on the very same day (December 9th) that The Washington Post and The New York Times ran stories about Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, thereby beginning a period of heavy scrutiny for both the FBI and CIA’s actions before and during the election, with the stated reason for Giuliani’s demurral from a once-certain Cabinet position being his potential conflicts of interest abroad (which conflicts are reportedly far fewer in number than those of either the President-elect or the President-elect’s nominee for Secretary of State, and occur in the context of an administration that has thus far expressed no concern at all about foreign business entanglements);

(9) as reported by The Chicago Tribune, a Los Angeles attorney, E. Randol Schoenberg, is now asking a New York City judge to release, on Thursday, the search warrant the FBI sought for the Abedin emails on Weiner’s computer—with what probable cause to believe they contained evidence of criminal conduct one can, in view of the facts in this article, only begin to imagine—with Schoenberg’s stated purpose being to determine whether “someone in the Manhattan orbit of then-candidate Donald Trump may have provided a false lead to the FBI” regarding the Abedin emails (alternatively, as observed by The Gothamist, the search warrant could turn up “funny business by overly zealous conservative FBI agents”);

(10) the lawsuit in New York was made necessary by the FBI’s inexplicable refusal to turn over its FOIA-eligible investigatory materials to Attorney Schoenberg in the 20-day window mandated by law, or even to respond to Schoenberg’s request at all, which refusal would have assured, absent Schoenberg’s lawsuit, that this information would remain under wraps prior to the Electoral College vote;

(11) the judge in the New York lawsuit now says he may release the entirety of the search warrant prior to the meeting of the Electoral College on Monday, December 19th, acknowledging thereby the potential political relevance of the material; and

(12) if the search warrant is in any way irregular, or the FBI’s redactions from it suspicious, this could confirm political collusion at the FBI and thereby increase the number of “Hamilton Electors” from their current reported 20 to the 38 needed to throw the 2016 presidential election to the House of Representatives—which temporary delay in Trump’s ascension to the presidency would allow ample time for investigations of both FBI collusion with the Trump campaign and multifaceted Russian interference with the presidential election.

Per Haaretz, “Schoenberg suspects somebody in Trump’s inner circle—perhaps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who boasted on television of having some sort of retaliation planned for Clinton on the eve of Comey’s October surprise—may have provided a false lead to the FBI to secure the warrant. ‘If this is traced back to Donald Trump, it might be cause for impeachment,’ Schoenberg wrote on his blog. ‘It deserves to be investigated fully and openly, and quickly because if a crime was committed in the course of the FBI investigation, it is the crime of the century.’” (In the past 24 hours, another entity, Vice News, has initiated a suit against the FBI seeking “records related to [the FBI’s] curious disclosures, behind-the-scenes actions, and apparent leaks in the days leading up to the U.S. presidential election.” A previous FOIA request from Vice News disclosed evidence that the FBI was also investigating Trump prior to the general election—on grounds only slightly less flimsy than the “Abedin emails” of the reopened Clinton investigation—yet worked as hard as it could, unlike in the Clinton case, to ensure that neither the media nor the public caught wind of its investigation.)

It is important to remember that the Watergate investigation began with reports of minor political figures being involved in the break-in at the Watergate Hotel. At first, the media as a whole didn’t take the story seriously, and indeed it took some time for the involvement of more powerful figures in Washington—including President Nixon—to be confirmed by well-placed sources.

Here, we have the president-elect’s close confidant having already (a) confessed on national television that the FBI illegally leaked information to him on a topic that may have swung a national election to his friend, Donald Trump, and (b) established that a core group of disgruntled agents within the FBI had a motive to act unprofessionally in a manner directly detrimental to Clinton’s White House ambitions.

We then have unprofessional actions by this same group of FBI agents with no valid legal or law enforcement explanation, which actions demonstrably affected the presidential race, per hard data and innumerable media accounts of the Comey Letter and its after-effects.

We then have what very much looks like a cover-up: rank-and-file FBI agents wrongly trying to set up the narrative in the press that the “new” Abedin emails couldn’t be fully reviewed before the election, and getting immediately overruled by their superiors; Giuliani changing his tune (in a way none, it must be said, have credited) on the source of his information about the Weiner and Clinton investigations; the FBI refusing to turn over its search warrant in the Clinton case in the face of a valid FOIA request; the FBI violating the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure by never disclosing its October 30th warrant to either Anthony Weiner or Huma Abedin, nor making any attempt to contact either (fully cooperative) witness for further assistance in their investigations; Giuliani mysteriously excusing himself from any further involvement in the Trump administration, despite prior promises from the President-elect that he could have a Cabinet-level position; and continued recalcitrance on the part of the FBI in the matter of Russian interference in the presidential election, with the agency being one of the only U.S. intelligence agencies to not yet—prior to the Electoral College vote—confirm that the Russians sought to hand Donald Trump the U.S. presidency. Many others besides me have noted that this is consistent with an anti-Clinton atmosphere among the FBI’s rank-and-file—an observation that of course is no longer controversial, given how often it’s been made by Trump’s closest advisers and Trump himself.

Through it all, we have Huma Abedin at once being termed a fully cooperative witness by the FBI but also telling everyone who’ll listen that she did not have any emails on the computer that Weiner gave the FBI. And yet, by October 29th, nearly four weeks after the “new” emails were discovered, the FBI still had not contacted Abedin—not even once—about her emails being on Weiner’s work computer. This was an exceedingly odd investigatory decision for a law enforcement agency that (given what they knew at the time) could have seriously considered charging Abedin with a federal crime for withholding evidence from them. Indeed, it’s a strange enough decision that it begs the question of whether the FBI didn’t want to give Abedin a public or even private platform to deny knowledge of how her emails came to be on her estranged husband’s work computer. Whatever the reason for the appearance of “new” Abedin emails on Weiner’s computer—with all signs pointing to a readily detectable, passive “email account synching” process—why was the FBI not at all interested in getting answers from Abedin herself in the four weeks after such an critical discovery? Why did they not use those four weeks to interview Abedin at least once, the better to brief their boss when they finally deigned to tell him that his old, nationally important case potentially had reams of new evidence?

Given that Weiner was estranged from Abedin at the time he voluntarily gave his computer to the FBI (various initial reports said it had been “seized,” but it’s since been clarified that Weiner is cooperating with the FBI), and that his release of the computer was to the very entity then criminally investigating him, should more questions be asked about his motives and role in this sequence of events? What attention has been given to other leaks (either to media, former FBI agents, or political operatives) by agents investigating Clinton at the New York field office of the FBI, besides those listed above? Certainly, basic questions must be asked about whether the agents investigating Clinton followed any of the chain-of-command protocols established at the Bureau in handling the Abedin emails, as well as why an FBI forensics team was unable to see, immediately upon viewing the meta-data for these emails, that they were mere duplicates and without novel evidentiary value. This stands sufficiently in defiance of common sense and what we know about the forensic capabilities of the FBI that it should be raising alarms throughout the national media.

Finally, why was the Director of the FBI so certain, per The New York Times, that there would be criminal leaks by members of his New York field office, so much so that he—without further explanation, and without being queried on this point by the media then or since—felt compelled to ignore countless requests by the Justice Department not to write his now-infamous late-October letter? As The New York Times reported, “although Mr. Comey told Congress this summer that the Clinton investigation was complete, he believed that if word of the new emails leaked out—and it was sure to leak out, he concluded—he risked being accused of misleading Congress and the public ahead of an election” (emphasis supplied). Which person or group or persons within the FBI’s New York field office so concerned Comey that he knew if he didn’t violate longstanding FBI protocol, information about the Abedin emails would come out—possibly with a number of deliberate, election result-changing inaccuracies—from other (clandestine) sources? And what actions, if any, did Comey take after the election to investigate this person or these persons and take appropriate disciplinary (or criminal) action against them? Or even to determine to what extent they had been in communication with the Trump campaign, given that Rudy Giuliani and Jim Kallstrom and possibly others were telling reporters and national television audiences that they had access to current FBI agents working on the Clinton case? And what to make of the fact that Erik Prince, a proiminent Trump supporter, spoke at shocking length with Breibart about getting a flood of confidential investigatory information regarding Weiner and Abedin from his “well-placed sources” at NYPD, which sources (he says) had Weiner’s computer and read Abedin’s emails well before the FBI did, thereafter threatening the FBI by saying they would leak details from the emails before Election Day? Did former Breitbart Executive Chair Steve Bannon, who left his job at Breibart to become Chief Executive Officer for Trump’s campaign, communicate or coordinate at all with Breitbart staff about their intention to run illegally leaked NYPD information from Erik Prince on November 4th, just 96 hours before the election? And who (at the FBI or otherwise) is investigating these leaks at NYPD?

Has consideration been given to the possibility that someone at NYPD accidentally or intentionally fed bad intel to the FBI to assist them in writing up their October 30th search warrant application, partially explaining the Bureau’s unwillingness to disclose that application to Weiner and Abedin as required by law? Has consideration been given to the likelihood that Rudy Giuliani, a key member of the Trump team, had much better access than Erik Prince to the Weiner investigators at NYPD, given his former role as Mayor of New York City? Or that, therefore, one source of Giuliani’s foreknowledge of the Trump team’s “October Surprise” could have been his contacts at NYPD (in addition to multiple agents in the New York field office of the FBI)?

(NB: Per Prince, whose account more than strains credulity, but which certainly demands investigation by media and government entities, “The amount of garbage that they [NYPD] found in these emails [on Weiner’s computer], 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 [the NYPD] 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.’” Does this mean that the leaks Comey was afraid of were, first, from the NYPD instead of the FBI, and, second, certain to be inaccurate and an attempt to sway the election toward Trump, as Prince’s false accusations clearly were?)

One wonders, then, why no one in the media is asking these questions, especially in the face of confirmed anti-Clinton bias at the FBI; repeated anti-Clinton leaks—to the Trump campaign or Trump supporters like Jim Kallstrom—at the FBI; confirmed (and unexplained) deviations from standard operating procedures by an anti-Clinton faction within the FBI; and, finally, clear polling evidence that this systemically unprofessional and in multiple instances illegal conduct did in fact cost Clinton the White House?

Again, the purpose here is to note that publicly available information paints a picture of illicit collusion between the Trump campaign and the FBI to swing a presidential election. We cannot know why, for all the hours of senseless television punditry we’re assaulted by daily, the media have made no effort to connect the dots they themselves have drawn with such care. We cannot know how much or little fire there is here, given the exceedingly large volume of smoke, but we certainly do know that the nation can’t afford to confirm a President-elect on Monday without us getting some answers about how and why the FBI and certain members of the Trump campaign acted as they did before and during the election.

At a minimum, we’ll get some answers we already know the FBI doesn’t want America to get if new materials are released—as seems very likely—by a New York judge on Thursday. But more than this is owed to the American electorate. Must the nation really wait until after Trump is inaugurated to discover the truth behind what, at the moment, looks like another Watergate—or worse?



Was Rudy Giuliani At The Center Of An FBI-Trump Campaign Conspiracy To Steal The Election?
12/21/2016 04:45 pm ET | Updated Dec 22, 2016

Seth Abramson
Attorney; Assistant Professor at University of New Hampshire; Poet; Editor, Best American Experimental Writing; Editor, Metamodern Studies.

Publicly Available Information Appears to Put Giuliani at the Center of a Watergate-Level Conspiracy

It’s surprising that Rudy Giuliani has been out of the news lately, given that, as recently as November 7, Donald Trump was planning on offering him a cabinet position.

A little over a month later, the president-elect ruled out Giuliani having any role in his administration whatsoever.

So what happened between November 7 and December 9?

Accounts are murky, and suspiciously so. A few days ago, Giuliani, who’s never held a political position higher than mayor, told the press that being Secretary of State of the United States and fourth in the line of presidential succession was “the only challenge left for me”—so that when that particular job offer went elsewhere, he had no difficulty rejecting all other offers of a cabinet position.

Other reports say Trump—who’d relied on Giuliani as his most tireless media surrogate and advisor for the entirety of his general election campaign—suddenly decided, post-election, that Giuliani was in poor health and suffered from narcoleptic episodes.

Additional reports that the famously ambitious, 9/11-citing Giuliani was offered and rejected multiple cabinet positions—including Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security—make perfect sense to no one.

Other reports to the effect that Trump was worried about Giuliani’s business ties—and possible conflicts of interest abroad—are of course laughable on their face, as nearly every cabinet member Trump has nominated, and indeed especially his Secretary of State pick, will face exactly these sorts of questions at their confirmation hearings. There is no evidence that Giuliani’s potential conflicts of interest are in the same realm as Rex Tillerson’s—let alone Trump’s.

So it’s reasonable to ask whether anything about Giuliani’s role in the Trump campaign might have caused Trump some concerns. Specifically, the operative question is whether there was anything damaging that might have come up had Giuliani been put under oath during his Senate confirmation hearings. (Given that Giuliani made a run for president in 2008, at which point he faced, at most, difficult questions about his lack of marital fidelity—an issue now fully aired—there’s no reason to believe he holds as-yet unvetted policy positions that would be a hindrance to Senate confirmation.)

So it behooves us to see whether Giuliani was at the center of any controversies during the course of the 2016 presidential campaign.

As it happens, he was.

Indeed, he was at the center of the most controversial sequence of events in the 2016 election: James Comey’s “October Surprise,” a letter the Director of the FBI “chose” to write to Congress on October 28th. That letter, immediately leaked to the press by House Republicans, intimated that the FBI had found new evidence in its criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s basement email server.

Comey himself had only discovered this information on October 27—though his agents had been holding onto it since October 3.

I wrote above that Comey “chose” to write his now-infamous letter. But did he?

According to The New York Times, in fact Comey did not “choose” to write the letter that the nation’s top political statistician, Nate Silver, now says swung the election to Trump.

No—Comey’s hand was forced.

As The New York Times has reported, “although Mr. Comey told Congress this summer that the Clinton investigation was complete, he believed that if word of the new emails leaked out—and it was sure to leak out, he concluded—he risked being accused of misleading Congress and the public ahead of an election” (emphasis supplied).

So why was Comey so certain that his own organization would violate the Hatch Act? (The Hatch Act is a federal statute prohibiting certain federal employees, including FBI agents, from engaging in partisan political behavior by, among other things, issuing targeted leaks to the press.) And why was Comey’s certainty at such a fevered pitch on October 28th that it prompted him to violate longstanding FBI protocol prohibiting administrative actions that could influence an election in the 60 days before Election Day? In this respect the “Comey Letter” certainly seemed out of character for the FBI director, who had not only previously declined to prosecute Hillary Clinton but was also universally known as a “straight shooter.”

The most likely answer for Comey’s uncharacteristic behavior? Again, Rudy Giuliani.

Per a CNN report, on October 28 Rudy Giuliani went on the Lars Larson radio program and confessed that current agents in the FBI had committed Hatch Act violations to get him information about the ongoing Clinton investigation. Specifically, wrote CNN, “the former mayor said he was in contact with former agents ‘and a few active agents, who obviously don’t want to identify themselves.’” Giuliani wasn’t even being especially coy; he was quite clearly indicating that the reason the current FBI agents who’d spoken to him didn’t want to identify themselves was because their contact with him had been illegal.

The next day, Giuliani tried to walk back this very explicit claim of being the recipient of Hatch Act-violative leaks. He’d only been speaking with former FBI agents, he now maintained to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. His reference to “a few active agents who obviously don’t want to identify themselves,” and his careful distinction of those agents from the former agents he’d also been speaking to, was just a slip-up, he said. In fact—exhibiting, suddenly, a remarkably clear memory as to whom he’d spoken to and when—he said he hadn’t spoken to a current FBI agent in “ten months.”

Unfortunately, no one was buying it.

Indeed, multiple Congressmen almost immediately called for a Congressional investigation into what Giuliani knew and when he knew it. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign proposed that the Inspector General of the FBI should investigate the matter.

Yet even if you believe Giuliani merely slipped up, and that in fact he’d only been speaking with retired FBI agents, it wouldn’t matter. Why? Because if current FBI agents issued targeted leaks to retired FBI agents known to be “close, personal friends” of Giuliani—per Giuliani’s own description of the latter men—it would still be the case that rank-and-file FBI agents delivering confidential information to the Trump campaign through known Giuliani intermediaries was illegal.

So did the rank-and-file FBI agents in the New York field office of the FBI have a motive to use Giuliani’s friends as an intermediary to illegally feed confidential information to the Trump campaign? Absolutely, says Giuliani. Asked on November 4, on Fox & Friends, about whether he had heard about the “reopening” of the Clinton investigation prior to James Comey announcing it publicly, Giuliani replied, “Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it. And I can’t even repeat the language that I heard from the former FBI agents.” And Giuliani has had much more to say on this point since then, conceding to having inside information about the “tremendous anger within the FBI about...Comey’s conclusion [to not recommend criminal charges against Clinton in July] and...the way they [the FBI rank-and-file] believed they were being obstructed by what they regard as a pretty corrupt Obama Justice Department.”

If this seems to you like something Giuliani maybe shouldn’t have said publicly, you’re right. But in fact he’d slipped up far worse in his conversation with Fox & Friends on November 4.

Speaking of Comey’s announcement that “new” evidence had been found in the Clinton investigation, Giuliani told Fox News, “I had expected this for the last, honestly, to tell you the truth, I thought it was going to be about three or four weeks ago” (emphasis supplied).

“Three or four weeks ago”—of course. Because “three or four weeks ago” is when the New York field office of the FBI had found the “new” Clinton emails on Anthony Wiener’s server. It was “three or four weeks ago” that these same agents had begun a widely reported 24-day campaign to hide this information from Director Comey—the better to ensure that any leak of the information would cause maximum pre-election damage to the Clinton campaign. Had the “new” information held by these rank-and-file agents leaked to the media in the first week of October, it would have had little to no impact on the election. Instead, the agents’ deliberate delay in sending this information up the chain of command forced Comey to reveal the information at the very end of October—thereby creating a story that exploded like a political hand grenade over the entire first week of November.

Giuliani’s slip on Fox News thus helps us establish the timeline for a possible conspiracy between the FBI and the Trump campaign to illegally leak FBI evidence and swing the presidential election to Trump:

October 3rd: Agents investigating Anthony Wiener out of the New York field office of the FBI receive a computer Wiener previously shared with his estranged wife Huma Abedin. The agents immediately discover emails from Clinton on the computer. They tell no one else within the FBI. Indeed, instead of asking Director Comey to get a warrant to view the emails, or asking Wiener or Abedin directly for permission to read the emails—as both Wiener and Abedin were cooperative FBI witnesses at that point—they spend weeks searching through the emails’ “meta-data” (that is, “to” and “from” fields within individual emails). No one knows why they do this. The emails aren’t relevant to their investigation, and, even if they were, they’d have multiple avenues—including all three of Comey and Wiener and Abedin—to get full access to the email archive on Wiener’s computer.

October 7th-October 14th: This is ”three or four weeks” before Giuliani’s November 4th interview. During this period either current agents at the New York field office of the FBI or retired agents from that office known to be “close, personal” friends of Rudy Giuliani—legally, it doesn’t matter which, as even using go-betweens to leak FBI-held investigatory material would violate the Hatch Act—tell Rudy Giuliani that the FBI has “new” email evidence on Clinton. Whether Giuliani is given all the details of the “new” evidence is immaterial; Giuliani knows that the agents want this “new” information to re-open the Clinton investigation and also want that re-opening to become public, and knows the Trump campaign would benefit enormously if it did become public. But he doesn’t yet know whether the FBI will be able to convince Comey to make it public. Meanwhile, Comey still hasn’t been told of the “new” (in fact, duplicate) emails. Comey, had he known of the emails at this point, could have used meta-data to see that the emails were just “synched” versions of emails from Abedin accounts already held by the FBI.

October 25th: Giuliani tells Fox & Friends, in the context of a very lengthy discussion about the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email server, that Trump still has some surprises in store for the Clinton campaign. When asked by host Brian Kilmeade if Trump has anything planned in the 14 days before the election other than “a series of inspiring rallies,” Giuliani replies, “Yes.” Then he laughs—it’s fair to say (watch the video for yourself) “deviously.” Asked to explain what the Trump campaign has planned, he grins and says, “You’ll see.” He laughs again and says, “We’ve got a couple of surprises left.” (If you watch this video, at 8:45, you’ll be certain that Giuliani is talking about new information on the FBI’s Clinton investigation—information we know he had at that point. His knowing smile when another host mentions the FBI in the final five seconds of the interview is also startling.)

Later—but only after he’s accused of receiving Hatch Act-violative leaks from the FBI—Giuliani tries to walk back his October 25th comments by saying that he was then referring to a new Trump ad campaign. Indeed, in the video from the 25th Giuliani does seem to imply—for a moment—that the surprise in question could be a new ad campaign, though perhaps one in which the Trump campaign would reveal for the first time that “new” Clinton emails had been found by the FBI. Specifically, Giuliani says to his Fox News interviewers that the Trump campaign is planning “surprises in the way that we’re going to campaign to get our message out there, maybe in a little of a different way, you’ll see, and I do think it’ll be enormously effective, and I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton—finally—are beginning to have an impact” (emphasis supplied). Yet the later walk-back doesn’t explain why Giuliani links the new ad campaign to the FBI’s investigation of Clinton.

In a November 4th interview with Megyn Kelly, Giuliani will explain his October 25th reference to a (supposed) “surprise” ad campaign this way: “I was talking [on October 25th] about Trump’s advertising this weekend [November 4th through November 6th]. Because we were having a big debate about whether he should do a big speech or a bunch of advertising. That’s what I was talking about. That he was going to go on television and talk directly to the American people. No reference at all to the emails.” Perhaps because the new ad campaign sounds no different from any other ad campaign Trump had ever run—far from an “October Surprise”—Kelly’s response to Giuliani drips with incredulity (as you can see for yourself on the above video): “That would’ve been kind of lame,” Kelly says to Giuliani wryly. “You should be glad that something bigger came out—to not make a liar out of you.”

During the October 25th Fox & Friends interview Giuliani had also had another telling exchange—this time, about allegations that the Clinton campaign had a political consulting firm hire “Donald Ducks” to appear at Trump rallies (the idea being that Trump was “ducking” releasing his tax returns). Host Steve Doocy asks, “Isn’t that illegal? When you’ve got an outside group coordinating with the campaign?” (Emphasis supplied.) Giuliani’s irony-free response is perfect: “Yes. Yeah, it’s what we would call unethical. Illegal. Dirty tricks.”

October 26th: Giuliani continues teasing an “October Surprise,” but begins ramping up his rhetoric. Unprompted—indeed, as Fox News host Martha McCallum is trying to end her interview with him—Giuliani says of Trump, “He’s got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I’m talking about some pretty big surprises,“ he adds with a grin. (Recall that he will later claim to Megyn Kelly, remarkably, that “the next few days” actually meant “in nine to eleven days”—that is, the weekend before the election.) When pressed by McCallum for more information, Giuliani says, “You’ll see!” And then he laughs again. “We’ve got a couple things up our sleeve that should turn things around,” he adds with a big smile.

October 27th: The Wiener-investigating FBI agents in the New York field office of the FBI, who’ve been sitting on evidence in James Comey’s Clinton investigation—for no obvious purpose—for well over three weeks now, deign to tell their boss for the first time that they have “new” evidence. They demand that Comey publicly re-open the Clinton investigation before Election Day. These are the same agents Giuliani repeatedly describes, in multiple television interviews, as being livid at Clinton for escaping prosecution, and livid at Comey for not prosecuting her. It’s unclear whether at this point (a) Comey has himself seen Giuliani’s teasing of an “October Surprise” on Fox News, (b) the agents inform him that the Trump campaign somehow knows about the “new” emails and could leak it before the election, or (c) the agents imply to Comey that it is they who will leak the “new” information if Comey himself doesn’t go public with it. All we know is what happens the next day, October 28th.

October 28th: Comey issues the now-infamous “Comey Letter” to Congress, and it’s immediately leaked to the press by House Republicans. Media reports indicate that Comey wrote the letter because he’d become “sure” that news of the “new” emails would leak to the press before Election Day. How he’s developed this certainty he does not divulge, and we still don’t know. Readily excluded here is any theory that holds that it was Comey who wanted to release the new information—as he’d already decided, months earlier, not to prosecute Clinton, and the nature of the “new” evidence was such that it had no chance of being a different kind of evidence from that already seen (and, for prosecutorial purposes, ignored) by Comey.

October 30th: Comey, who tells Congress that his office has been reviewing the “new” emails “around the clock” since he found out about them on October 27th, finally applies for and receives a search warrant to read the emails—which he and/or his agents only could have done prior to this date illegally. It is later revealed that the warrant was defective on its face, as the FBI had no basis to believe the “new” emails were either new, evidence of a crime, or accompanied by the specific intent to violate federal law that Comey had already said (in July) would be necessary to prove a prosecutable crime.

November 6th: After rank-and-file FBI agents in the New York field office erroneously tell the press that there is “no way” that the “new” emails can be read and deemed material or immaterial prior to Election Day, they are overruled by Comey, who pushes his investigators to confirm that the emails are neither new nor evidence of a crime by November 6th—just 48 hours before the election. At this point, tens of millions of Americans have already voted. Many millions more never hear the updated news: that the “re-opening” of the Clinton investigation was a total “dud” surprise—a legal (and indeed factual) non-starter.

November 8th-December 9th: For the first month that he is President-elect, Trump leaks that Giuliani is being considered for Secretary of State—but appears to never interview him for the job or play him up as a potential candidate. On December 9th it is revealed (accompanied by a series of increasingly unlikely cover stories) that Giuliani has been excluded from the administration altogether. During this period, Democratic Congressmen and the Clinton campaign have kept up their insistence that Giuliani’s role in the election be investigated—all but ensuring that at his confirmation hearings for any post in the Trump administration he will be asked about FBI agents’ possible violations of the Hatch Act.

He will, in short, be asked by Democratic Senators—on national television—what he knew and when he knew it.

The “Watergate” question.

Yet none can doubt that this story is bigger than Watergate, as it begins with violation of a major federal statute (the Hatch Act), widens into a conspiracy between a nonpartisan and taxpayer-funded law enforcement agency and Donald Trump’s most loyal adviser and surrogate, and comes to fruition on an Election Day in which all available data shows the result of the conspiracy being a swing of millions of votes to Donald Trump. Indeed, in a poll taken just before the election by Politico, 33 percent of Americans say that the Comey Letter made them “much less likely” to vote for Clinton—including enough previously committed Clinton voters (enough, indeed, by a factor of 1200% to 1500%) to swing the ballot tallies in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Those three states ultimately gave Trump the Electoral College by a mere 77,000 votes.

All of the above draws from publicly available information. None of the above has yet been put together, however, by anyone in the mainstream media—as their singular focus on Russia and their self-consciousness about “not re-litigating the election” has permitted a Watergate-level conspiracy to go unreported and unpunished.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/was ... e7c72ed993



New Washington Post Report On Comey Letter Raises Startling Questions About The FBI
12/22/2016 06:51 pm ET | Updated Dec 23, 2016

Seth Abramson
Attorney; Assistant Professor at University of New Hampshire; Poet; Editor, Best American Experimental Writing; Editor, Metamodern Studies.

After several weeks in which substantial additional discussion of the now-infamous “Comey Letter” could only be found in The Huffington Post and a handful of smaller news outlets, major media has finally weighed in on this election-changing story.

The Washington Post has now published a lengthy article detailing how and why the Comey Letter was sent to Congress by FBI Director James Comey on October 28th, just a week and a half before the 2016 presidential election.

Unfortunately, the new story raises far more questions than it answers.

The reason? It contradicts October 30th reporting in the very same newspaper.

On October 30th, The Washington Post twice contended that Director Comey did not know about the “new” Clinton emails on Anthony Wiener’s computer until October 27th, just a day before he informed Congress of the development. As reporters Matt Zapotosky, Ellen Nakashima, and Rosalind S. Helderman wrote at the time, “The director, James B. Comey, has written that he was informed of the development Thursday [October 27th].” Later in the same article, the Post sourced this same claim differently, citing “people familiar with the case” for the proposition that “FBI agents investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State knew early this month that messages recovered in a separate probe might be germane to their case, but they waited weeks before briefing the FBI director...” (emphasis supplied).

This explosive news led many smaller online news outlets to wonder how FBI agents in the Wiener case and/or their rank-and-file, Clinton-investigating compatriots in the D.C. field office, holding potentially relevant evidence in the Clinton case, could have waited 24 days—from their October 3rd discovery of “new” Clinton emails to Comey’s self-admitted October 27th discovery of this fact—to brief their boss on the development.

This alleged three-and-a-half week reporting delay was especially troubling given that (a) Comey had the power to immediately seek a search warrant for the full content of the new emails, rather than wasting weeks trawling through mere “meta-data” as the Wiener investigators (for no obvious reason, given the irrelevance of the emails to their investigation) and possibly even rank-and-file Clinton investigators had done, (b) investigators on the Clinton case had previously worked cooperatively with Huma Abedin, opening up the possibility that had they known of the “new” emails on October 3rd they could have asked Abedin and/or her estranged husband Wiener, who shared the computer with her and was also cooperating with the FBI, for permission to view its contents, and (c) leaks to the Trump campaign between October 3rd and October 27th seemed to establish that rogue agents in the New York field office of the FBI were disseminating information about the Clinton investigation outside the Bureau for partisan purposes (a violation of the federal Hatch Act) prior to anyone informing Comey about the New York office’s investigatory find. This last fact raised, and still raises, the very distinct possibility that either these agents or agents in the D.C. field office—agents who leak recipient Rudy Giuliani has described as being livid at both Clinton and Comey—were sitting on the “new” information in order to ensure that it was leaked by Comey, the Trump campaign, or rogue agents within the FBI immediately before Election Day.

Now, however, The Washington Post has changed its tune, and thereby thrown the entire timeline behind the Comey Letter into disarray.

In a just-published December 22nd article, the Post now claims, again quoting anonymous sources, that “within days, Comey was notified of the [October 3rd] discovery” of the “new” Clinton emails. If this is true, it means that Comey himself, not rogue agents within the New York field office of the FBI, sat for weeks on information that he should have disclosed immediately to the Department of Justice and the relevant Congressional committee—thereby creating, rather than being the victim of, a chain-of-command snafu that ensured that his subsequent letter to Congress would dramatically swing the presidential election to Trump.

Attempts to contact the author of the recent piece in The Washington Post had not yet been responded to as of the time of this writing.

Whatever the newspaper’s reply, however, it is clear now that serious, major-media attention to the Comey Letter, violations of the Hatch Act at the FBI, and the timeline of events that led to the so-called “re-opening” of the Clinton investigation is necessary.

If rogue FBI agents angry about the July non-indictment of Clinton prevented Director Comey from accessing information he needed to make an informed decision about whether, when, and how to inform the DOJ and Congress about the “new” Clinton emails, and if Rudy Giuliani was telling the truth when he confessed on the Lars Larson radio program on October 28th (with details added in a November 4th interview on Fox News) that active FBI agents had leaked news of the “new” emails to him “three or four weeks” earlier, we have a Watergate-level conspiracy on our hands.

If, however, it was Comey himself who sat on the critical intelligence for weeks, the accuracy of his October 27th letter to Congress, and the possibly duplicitous nature of his October 27th discussions with DOJ brass, must be more thoroughly investigated. It is time for the major cable and network news programs, as well as their peers in print media, to work together to fully uncover the unadulterated truth about what James Comey knew—and, for that matter, what Rudy Giuliani knew—and when he knew it.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new ... e7c72edb64



NOTORIOUS MERCENARY ERIK PRINCE IS ADVISING TRUMP FROM THE SHADOWS
Jeremy Scahill
January 17 2017, 2:42 p.m.
LEIA EM PORTUGUÊS ⟶
ERIK PRINCE, AMERICA’S most notorious mercenary, is lurking in the shadows of the incoming Trump administration. A former senior U.S. official who has advised the Trump transition told The Intercept that Prince has been advising the team on matters related to intelligence and defense, including weighing in on candidates for the Defense and State departments. The official asked not to be identified because of a transition policy prohibiting discussion of confidential deliberations.

On election night, Prince’s latest wife, Stacy DeLuke, posted pictures from inside Trump’s campaign headquarters as Donald Trump and Mike Pence watched the returns come in, including a close shot of Pence and Trump with their families. “We know some people who worked closely with [Trump] on his campaign,” DeLuke wrote. “Waiting for the numbers to come in last night. It was well worth the wait!!!! #PresidentTrump2016.” Prince’s sister, billionaire Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and Prince (and his mother) gave large sums of money to a Trump Super PAC.

In July, Prince told Trump’s senior adviser and white supremacist Steve Bannon, at the time head of Breitbart News, that the Trump administration should recreate a version of the Phoenix Program, the CIA assassination ring that operated during the Vietnam War, to fight ISIS. Such a program, Prince said, could kill or capture “the funders of Islamic terror and that would even be the wealthy radical Islamist billionaires funding it from the Middle East, and any of the other illicit activities they’re in.”

Prince also said that Trump would be the best force to confront “Islamic fascism.” “As for the world looking to the United States for leadership, unfortunately, I think they’re going to have to wait till January and hope Mr. Trump is elected because, clearly, our generals don’t have a stomach for a fight,” Prince said. “Our president doesn’t have a stomach for a fight and the terrorists, the fascists, are winning.”

Prince founded the notorious private security firm Blackwater, which rose to infamy in September 2007 after its operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians, including a 9-year-old boy in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. Whistleblowers also alleged that Prince encouraged an environment in which Iraqis were killed for sport. At the height of the Blackwater scandals in 2007, another prominent Trump backer, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, praised Prince, who once worked in his congressional office. “Prince,’’ Rohrabacher said, “is on his way to being an American hero just like Ollie North was.’’

Ultimately, Prince sold Blackwater and now heads up a Hong Kong-based company known as Frontier Services Group. The Intercept has previously reported on Prince’s efforts to build a private air force for hire and his close ties to Chinese intelligence. One of his latest schemes is a proposal to deploy private contractors to work with Libyan security forces to stop the flow of refugees to Europe.

Prince has long fantasized that he is the rightful heir to the legacy of “Wild Bill” Donovan and his Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. After 9/11, Prince worked with the CIA on a secret assassination program, in addition to offering former SEALs and other retired special operators to the State Department and other agencies for personal security.

Blaming leftists and some congressional Democrats for destroying his Blackwater empire, Prince clearly views Trump’s vow to bring back torture, CIA-sponsored kidnapping, and enhanced interrogations, as well as his commitment to fill Guantánamo with prisoners, as a golden opportunity to ascend to his rightful place as a covert private warrior for the U.S. national security state. As we reported last year, “Prince — who portrays himself as a mix between Indiana Jones, Rambo, Captain America, and Pope Benedict — is now working with the Chinese government through his latest ‘private security’ firm.” The Trump presidency could result in Prince working for both Beijing and the White House.

The Blackwater founder has also endorsed some of Trump’s overtures to Russia, saying: “Think about it: If FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, can deal with Stalin to defeat German fascism in World War II, certainly the United States of America could work with Putin to defeat Islamic fascism. We don’t have to agree with the Russians on everything, or even on a lot, but we can at least agree that crushing ISIS in the Middle East is a very good idea.” Prince described Democrats as “anti-Catholic, anti-Evangelical,” saying the DNC hacks and leaks revealed “the disregard, the disdain they have for the average American voter and citizen.”

Prince has a close relationship with Breitbart News and Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior counselor and chief strategist. Prince has appeared frequently — and almost exclusively — on Breitbart Radio. In August, Prince offered praise for Trump’s candidacy, telling Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos: “I even like some of his projects that have gone bankrupt, because people that do things, and build things, and try things, sometimes fail at doing it, and that’s the strength of the American capitalist system.” Prince added: “We have kind of turned our back on the fact that hard work, sacrifice, risk-taking, innovation, is what made America great. Washington did not make America great.”

In September, Prince backed Trump’s proposal to commandeer Iraq’s 2 million barrels of daily oil output. “For Mr. Trump to say, ‘We’re going to take their oil — certainly we’re not going to lift it out of there and take it somewhere else, but putting it into production, and putting a tolling arrangement into place, to repay the American taxpayers for their efforts to remove Saddam and to stabilize the area, is doable, and very plausible,” Prince said on Breitbart Radio.

Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and she has all but vowed to embark on a crusade to push a privatization and religious agenda in education that mirrors her brother’s in military and CIA affairs. Prince has long been a contributor to the campaign of fellow Christian warrior Mike Pence, and he contributed $100,000 to the pro-Trump Super PAC Make America Number 1. Prince’s mother, Elsa, pitched in another $50,000. That organization, run by Rebekah Mercer, daughter of billionaire hedge funder Robert Mercer, was one of the strongest bankrollers of Trump’s campaign.

According to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in December Prince attended the annual “Villains and Heroes” costume ball hosted by Mercer. Dowd wrote that Palantir founder Peter Thiel showed her “a picture on his phone of him posing with Erik Prince, who founded the private military company Blackwater, and Mr. Trump — who had no costume — but joke[d] that it was ‘N.S.F.I.’ (Not Safe for the Internet).”

Not even Trump is brazen enough to give Prince a public post in his administration. But Prince is operating in the shadows, where he has always been most at home

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/not ... e-shadows/



I will tell you now this is bigger than Watergate ...so hold on this story is not over yet and I can not wait for the Intel Hearings to start

This is a HUGE story and it deserves it's own thread because this is the sound of tectonic plates shifting


Wait to see Rudy hang ...I saw this coming months ago and posted about it then

wait to see if Trump tries to fire Horowitz
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:34 pm

here's the thread where I tried to start to talk about all of this but for some reason the thread was purposely trashed ...I wonder why that was?

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The FBI and the 2016 Election
by seemslikeadream » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:52 pm
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=40133&hilit=rudy+mercer&start=15



Crime Of The Century

Who are these men?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFYZbgE ... FMORsgHP1k
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:56 pm

NEWS & POLITICS
Elijah Cummings Has Ominous Warning: Congress Has Info on Trump That Would Shock Americans

Cummings sees a "crisis of legitimacy" coming down the pike.

By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet January 19, 2017


Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) will be attending Trump's inauguration on Friday, unlike the 50 House planning to boycott the event. But he doesn't condemn his colleagues for their decision.

“You’ve got to understand that members of Congress have a lot of information that the public does not have,” Cummings told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. "And I can tell you over the last week or two, the classified briefings that I have been to, and if the public knew what members of Congress know…”

“Why don’t they?” Cuomo cut in. “If it’s that important that it’s going to make people not go to the inauguration… shouldn’t people know?”

Cummings explained that information regarding Russian interference and FBI Director Comey's influential role in the election would be released to the public following the Congressional investigation. Although the Maryland Democrat was also concerned with President-elect Trump worldwide conflicts of interest and both parties' failure to pressure Trump to divest completely.

"The information will come out later, at some point where I think the public will fully understand," Cummings said.

"My situation is, I want to be a witness to history. My forefathers would work hard to give me and others these opportunities, and so I want to be there [at Trump's inauguration] to be a witness."

"This, to me, is bigger than President-elect Trump," Cummings continued. "I’m concerned that we are moving slowly but surely towards a crisis of a legitimacy with regard to our core institutions: CIA, FBI, NSA.”

He also seeks to avoid potential partisan backlash.

“At some point a lot of information is going to come to me as the top person on the Oversight and Government Reform committee and I don’t want anybody to say, ‘Well, he was just one the people that was protesting,'" Cummings pointed out. "I want them to understand, this is not about Democrat or Republican.”

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0Tqbi1wAog

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politi ... dirt-trump
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby stillrobertpaulsen » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:15 pm

The Trump-Prince association doesn't surprise me at all. Remember last March, Trump unveiled his list of top foreign policy advisors which included none other than Joe Schmitz. Trump and Blackwater both have an abiding interest in massive privatization, macho bullshit, and heavy-duty corruption, among other things. They really are made for each other.
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby justdrew » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:30 pm

trump, prince, guiliani, bannon and anyone else that can be identified... they should all be hanged for treason.
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:04 pm

justdrew » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:30 pm wrote:trump, prince, guiliani, bannon and anyone else that can be identified... they should all be hanged for treason.



Here's my list so far

Carter Page

Paul Manafort

Rudy Giuliani

Michael Mukasey

Eric Prince

Russian/American pensioners

and it would be lovely if Trump was stupid enough to leave cookie crumbs leading back to him

I would also love to see

Kallstrom

John Mercer/Kellyann Conway

I think Bannon is too smart to get caught



TREASON



Cummings sees a "crisis of legitimacy" coming down the pike.

This is way worse than Watergate ...it will take time but the truth will come out I believe that in my heart and soul.

Trump has no control of this investigation....we have to rely on members of Congress and I believe there are honorable people there that will make it happen

Cummings sees a "crisis of legitimacy" coming down the pike.

I believe him

Democrats on the Intel Committee have subpoena power they do not have to ask anyone for permission to do anything
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby justdrew » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:45 pm

also the persons primarily responsible for pizzagate should be prosecuted for libel and jailed, they were going after average citizens. This stops now or it never will.

The psiwar contingent conducting precisely that vs this nation needs to be gutted and utterly eliminated. Fire in the a theater. no free speech for knowing lairs.
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby brekin » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:04 pm

justdrew » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:45 pm wrote:also the persons primarily responsible for pizzagate should be prosecuted for libel and jailed, they were going after average citizens. This stops now or it never will.
The psiwar contingent conducting precisely that vs this nation needs to be gutted and utterly eliminated. Fire in the a theater. no free speech for knowing lairs.


I think its too late. There were the creators of PG and then there were those who ran with it. Those who ran with it are probably more responsible than the creators who were possibly 15 year olds, Alt-Righters, rogue FBI agents, Russian operatives, Ashton Kutcher, or all of the above. But it was average citizens going after average citizens. The real world targets and repercussions were only more levels of engagement and titillation.

The caper fulfilled something in the conspiracy community which has always struggled with the line between research and activism. This just showed that line really can't be crossed without some serious upgrade packs of intelligence, emotional detachment, and a heavy duty troll dispersion spell. The matter was just too fulfilling and a culmination of a seed of all that "has been alluded to" being activated in the fevered heat of a manic-depressive election. No going back. Because you can't stop the feeling for the trolls once they've gotten a taste of happiness.

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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby justdrew » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:11 pm

I agree it's most likely not possible to know who started it at this point. but the reality of went went down, and the videos and such still sitting out there, should be grounds for every single person to be very afraid. A fucking nightmare scenario. What will be the next pizzagate? What group will it target?

on edit: another way to look at it: real-ification of gang stalking targeted individual concept.

incitement of mob-psudo-violence should be a crime

This is where it leads, and not surprisingly, the US does not lead in this...

(people may remember this term from a few years ago when the phenomenon went across US media briefly.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_flesh_search_engine
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby Nordic » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:33 pm

Uh, all you hysterics realize that Hillary couldn't beat Trump because she sucked? Right?

She couldn't beat DONALD TRUMP.

I do not understand why you guys don't take your witch hunt in the direction of those responsible for Trump:

Hillary and the DNC.

This might be the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my life.

Trump wasn't even supposed to win. Hillary picked him!

You guys pay the slightest bit of attention to reality?
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby justdrew » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:58 pm

Nordic » 19 Jan 2017 15:33 wrote:Uh, all you hysterics realize that Hillary couldn't beat Trump because she sucked? Right?

She couldn't beat DONALD TRUMP.

I do not understand why you guys don't take your witch hunt in the direction of those responsible for Trump:

Hillary and the DNC.

This might be the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my life.

Trump wasn't even supposed to win. Hillary picked him!

You guys pay the slightest bit of attention to reality?



Since when do you give a damn about reforming the DNC and/or the democratic party? I've said for ten years + that was the most important thing. It's not the ONLY important thing. Also, just because you don't get everything you want is no reason to walk away from the only viable vehicle for mass organization.

Although, I'm not even sure it remains viable. People just don't have the energy or willingness or time or spare attention to be involved at the level required. Gawd knows, there's episodes to binge watch!

ALSO, the primary reason she couldn't beat trump is because of 25+ years of knowing lairs spreading lies about her. Do you think you could personally handle that for even a single year if were you being lied about? and a utterly biased-against-any-democrat "mainstream media" that gave it life, just like they put Eric Prince's lies on life support. Why do those fucking clowns even allowed on tv? They're all known serial liars.

It's impossible to address the policy issues with a candidate like Clinton when at the same time we're forced to 'defend' them against endless made up bullshit.

It must be stopped, the rules of the game have to be changed because the whole fucking political system runs on lies and must do so, but "our side" will never win that game in any enduring way. Either the rules of the game change or there is no more playing, because why even fucking bother if the only solution is to become the better manipulative liar? The better PsiWar operative. fuck that.
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby JackRiddler » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:09 pm

Screw debating aspects of Clinton here.

This thread for once might talk about one plot, one election manipulation, not all of them.

For whatever it's worth, I vote this thread sticks to the topic.

Unlike all the stuff alleged to have been "Russian," Comey's surprise intervention actually and clearly made a difference in votes. It's possible the margin that Comey swung for Trump, in addition to the margin of THREE MILLION by which Trump would go on to lose, might have also swung states in the EC.

Notwithstanding that this is plausible and names the bad actors.

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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby justdrew » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:51 pm

it's not even about changing votes, all they had to do was convince a small % to just stay home, and given the endless drumbeat of inevitability, many would have felt safe doing so, and did so.
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:56 pm

and how would it have changed things if Comey had said 10 days out of the election Trump's team was under investigation for working with Russia....WHICH THEY WERE UNDER INVESTIGATION!!!
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Re: The Domestic Conspiracy Is Hiding In Plain Sight Erik Pr

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:00 pm

IT'S STARTING...DRIP DRIP

PAUL MANAFORT

Carter Page

Roger Stone,.....how could I forget Roger Stone!
Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZOJAN. 19, 2017


Paul Manafort, Donald J. Trump’s former campaign chairman, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times
WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.

The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.

Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.

“We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation,” said Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition.

In an emailed statement Thursday evening, Mr. Manafort called allegations that he had interactions with the Russian government a “Democrat Party dirty trick and completely false.”

“I have never had any relationship with the Russian government or any Russian officials. I was never in contact with anyone, or directed anyone to be in contact with anyone,” he said.

“On the ‘Russian hacking of the D.N.C.,’” he said, “my only knowledge of it is what I have read in the papers.”

The decision to open the investigations was not based on a dossier of salacious, uncorroborated allegations that were compiled by a former British spy working for a Washington research firm. The F.B.I. is also examining the allegations in that dossier, and a summary of its contents was provided to Mr. Trump earlier this month.

Representatives of the agencies involved declined to comment. Of the half-dozen current and former officials who confirmed the existence of the investigations, some said they were providing information because they feared the new administration would obstruct their efforts. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases.

Numerous news outlets, including The New York Times, have reported on the F.B.I. investigations into Mr. Trump’s advisers. On Wednesday, McClatchy revealed the existence of a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government.

The continuing investigation again puts the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, in the middle of a politically fraught investigation. Democrats have sharply criticized Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Mrs. Clinton has said his decision to reveal the existence of new emails late in the campaign cost her the election.

The F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring, and was an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. In August, The Times reported that Mr. Manafort’s name had surfaced in a secret ledger that showed he had been paid millions in undisclosed cash payments. The Associated Press has reported that his work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials.

Mr. Stone, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, said in a speech in Florida last summer that he had communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that published the hacked Democratic emails. During the speech, Mr. Stone predicted further leaks of documents, a prediction that came true within weeks.

In a brief interview on Thursday, Mr. Stone said he had never visited Russia and had no Russian clients. He said that he had worked in Ukraine for a pro-Western party, but that any assertion that he had ties to Russian intelligence was “nonsense” and “totally false.”

“The whole thing is a canard,” he said. “I have no Russian influences.”

The Senate intelligence committee has started its own investigation into Russia’s purported attempts to disrupt the election. The committee’s inquiry is broad, and will include an examination of Russian hacking and possible ties between people associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Investigators are also scrutinizing people on the periphery of Mr. Trump’s campaign, such as Mr. Page, a former Merrill Lynch banker who founded Global Energy Capital, an investment firm in New York that has done business with Russia.

In an interview,, Mr. Page expressed bewilderment about why he might be under investigation. He blamed a smear campaign that he said was orchestrated by Mrs. Clinton for the news media speculation about the nature of his ties to Russia.

“I did nothing wrong, for the 5,000th time,” he said. His adversaries, he added, are “pulling a page out of the Watergate playbook.”

The lingering investigations will pose a test for Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who has been nominated for attorney general. If Mr. Sessions is confirmed, he will for a time be the only person in the government authorized to seek foreign intelligence wiretaps on American soil.

Mr. Sessions said at his confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Mrs. Clinton. He was not asked whether he would do so in cases involving associates of Mr. Trump.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/us/p ... ation.html
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