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Emails Shed Light On Peter Strzok’s Role In Carter Page FISA Process


Chuck Ross | Reporter

During a closed-door interview on June 27, former FBI official Peter Strzok downplayed his role in obtaining surveillance warrants to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The Daily Beast reported that Strzok, the former deputy chief of counterintelligence, claimed in the interview that he had no substantive input on drafting or securing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants used to spy on Page, an energy consultant who left the Trump team in September 2016.

Strzok also denied providing evidence for the FISAs, the first of which was granted on Oct. 21, 2016.

A Republican in the June 27 interview confirmed that Strzok, who oversaw the Russian investigation, denied having a direct role in the FISA process. But the Republican was also incredulous at Strzok’s suggestion that he had little to do with the spy warrants obtained against Page. (RELATED: Goodlatte: FBI Lawyers Instructed Strzok Not To Answer ‘Many, Many’ Questions)

A new report appears to justify the Republican’s skepticism.

The Hill’s John Solomon is reporting that Strzok exchanged emails with FBI attorney Lisa Page regarding the Carter Page surveillance. Strzok and Lisa Page exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages during their work on the Russia probe, which was codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.” In one Aug. 8, 2016 message, Strzok told Page that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president.

Strzok, who was the FBI’s top investigator on Crossfire Hurricane, sent an email with the subject line “Crossfire FISA” to Lisa Page discussing a set of talking points aimed at getting then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to push the Department of Justice (DOJ) to approve a surveillance warrant against Carter Page, according to The Hill.

“At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him,” Strzok emailed Lisa Page on Oct. 14, 2016, according to The Hill.

Strzok also commented on a letter that Carter Page sent to then-FBI Director Jim Comey offering to meet with the FBI to discuss allegations made against him in a Yahoo! News article published on Sept. 23, 2016.

“At a minimum, the letter provides us a pretext to interview,” Strzok wrote to Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair, on Sept. 26, 2016.

The Yahoo! News article claimed that U.S. government officials were looking into allegations that Carter Page met secretly in Moscow in July 2016 with two sanctioned Kremlin insiders. It would later be learned that the article, written by Michael Isikoff, was based on information from Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.

The dossier claimed that Page was the Trump campaign’s conduit to the Kremlin for the collusion conspiracy. Page has vehemently denied all of the allegations, and no evidence has emerged to support the Steele dossier’s claims about him.

The FBI and DOJ’s spy warrants relied heavily on the Steele dossier, which remains largely unverified and uncorroborated, in order to convince a federal judge to allow spying against Carter Page. The FISA applications also cited the Isikoff article that relied on the dossier, though without disclosing that the article was derived from Steele.

The applications also did not disclose that the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC had financed the dossier. A law firm for both organizations hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which in turn hired Steele.

Despite Strzok’s suggestion of an interview with Carter Page, the FBI did not meet with him until March 2017, six months after the email and two months after BuzzFeed News published the dossier. Page has questioned why the FBI waited so long to interview him.

The FBI used other methods to keep tabs on the former Trump aide. As The Daily Caller News Foundation first reported, an FBI informant named Stefan Halper made contact with Page during a conference at the University of Cambridge on July 11, 2016, nearly three weeks before the start of Crossfire Hurricane. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Kept Tabs On Carter Page During Campaign, Beyond)

Halper, a veteran of three Republican presidential administrations, maintained contact with Page for over a year, until September 2017. That was the same month that the fourth and final FISA warrant against Carter Page expired.

Halper met with two other Trump campaign advisers, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos. Halper paid Papadopoulos $3,000 in September 2016 to travel to London under the guise of writing a policy paper and Mediterranean energy issues.

Papadopoulos has told associates that during dinner one night in London, Halper asked him about Russian efforts to steal Hillary Clinton emails.

Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, did not respond to an email seeking comment for this article.

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Wow! Comey Refuses to Testify and McCabe Pleads The Fifth…Somebody’s Lying


Reported by 

URL of the original posting site: http://www.americanjournalreview.com/comey-refuses-testify-mccabe/

On Monday James Comey, the fired FBI Director, refused to appear before Congress to discuss his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

The senate Judiciary Committee was investigating into the inspector general’s report with details in Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation. Comey has even been caught lying about his current location. His lawyer said he was out of the country, but Mr. Comey was recently spotted by a committee chairman in Iowa over the weekend. Looks like Comey is digging himself into a pit of disaster.

Additionally, Comey’s fired deputy, Andrew McCabe says he pleads his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Loretta Lynch also failed to show up for an important hearing. It seems like the entire group of anti-Trump conspirators got cold feet and failed to testify before the House Intel Committee.

According to 100percentfedup:

Comey, McCabe and Loretta Lynch were no-shows. Comey refused to show and McCabe took the fifth after he was refused immunity. McCabe’s lawyer Michael Bromwich sent a letter asking for immunity and threatened to take the fifth if he didn’t get it:

For these reasons, we urge this Committee to apply for a Court order compelling Mr. McCabe’s testimony and granting him use immunity. If this Committee is unwilling or unable to obtain such an order, then Mr. McCabe will have no choice but to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Committee Chairman Grassley ripped into Comey whose lawyer said he was out of the country: “He has time for book tours and television interview, but apparently no time to assist this committee.” Grassley also noted he saw Comey over the weekend in Iowa…OUT OF THE COUNTRY? Maybe he’s in Iran with his buddies.

The men have given conflicting information in testimony so one of them is lying.

McCabe says Comey knew he was giving info to the press… Comey disagrees.

During today’s hearing with IG Horowitz and FBI Director Wray, Sen. Ted Cruz got down to business when he said: “One or the other is not telling the truth. I don’t know which one”

Who is it? They need to be called on the carpet for this but the current FBI director can’t out the liar because it involves a current investigation. Yada, yada, yada…

The American people are still waiting for these people to be punished for their crimes…waiting.

Mueller may have a conflict — and it leads directly to a Russian oligarch


Special counsel Robert Mueller has withstood relentless political attacks, many distorting his record of distinguished government service. But there’s one episode even Mueller’s former law enforcement comrades — and independent ethicists — acknowledge raises legitimate legal issues and a possible conflict of interest in his overseeing the Russia election probe.

In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.

Yes, that’s the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration.

The Levinson mission is confirmed by more than a dozen participants inside and outside the FBI, including Deripaska, his lawyer, the Levinson family and a retired agent who supervised the case. Mueller was kept apprised of the operation, officials told me.

Some aspects of Deripaska’s help were chronicled in a 2016 book by reporter Barry Meier, but sources provide extensive new information about his role. They said FBI agents courted Deripaska in 2009 in a series of secret hotel meetings in Paris; Vienna; Budapest, Hungary, and Washington. Agents persuaded the aluminum industry magnate to underwrite the mission. The Russian billionaire insisted the operation neither involve nor harm his homeland.

“We knew he was paying for his team helping us, and that probably ran into the millions,” a U.S. official involved in the operation confirmed.

One agent who helped court Deripaska was Andrew McCabe, the recently fired FBI deputy director who played a seminal role starting the Trump-Russia case, multiple sources confirmed.

Deripaska’s lawyer said the Russian ultimately spent $25 million assembling a private search and rescue team that worked with Iranian contacts under the FBI’s watchful eye. Photos and videos indicating Levinson was alive were uncovered.

Then in fall 2010, the operation secured an offer to free Levinson. The deal was scuttled, however, when the State Department become uncomfortable with Iran’s terms, according to Deripaska’s lawyer and the Levinson family.

FBI officials confirmed State hampered their efforts.

“We tried to turn over every stone we could to rescue Bob, but every time we started to get close, the State Department seemed to always get in the way,” said Robyn Gritz, the retired agent who supervised the Levinson case in 2009, when Deripaska first cooperated, but who left for another position in 2010 before the Iranian offer arrived. “I kept Director Mueller and Deputy Director [John] Pistole informed of the various efforts and operations, and they offered to intervene with State, if necessary.”

FBI officials ended the operation in 2011, concerned that Deripaska’s Iranian contacts couldn’t deliver with all the U.S. infighting. Levinson was never found; his whereabouts remain a mystery, 11 years after he disappeared.

“Deripaska’s efforts came very close to success,” said David McGee, a former federal prosecutor who represents Levinson’s family. “We were told at one point that the terms of Levinson’s release had been agreed to by Iran and the U.S. and included a statement by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointing a finger away from Iran. At the last minute, Secretary Clinton decided not to make the agreed-on statement.”

The State Department declined comment, and a spokesman for Clinton did not offer comment. Mueller’s spokesman, Peter Carr, declined to answer questions. As did McCabe.

The FBI had three reasons for choosing Deripaska for a mission worthy of a spy novel.

  • First, his aluminum empire had business in Iran.
  • Second, the FBI wanted a foreigner to fund the operation because spending money in Iran might violate U.S. sanctions and other laws.
  • Third, agents knew Deripaska had been banished since 2006 from the United States by State over reports he had ties to organized crime and other nefarious activities. He denies the allegations, and nothing was ever proven in court.like i said

The FBI rewarded Deripaska for his help. In fall 2009, according to U.S. entry records, Deripaska visited Washington on a rare law enforcement parole visa. And since 2011, he has been granted entry at least eight times on a diplomatic passport, even though he doesn’t work for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Former FBI officials confirm they arranged the access.

Deripaska said in a statement through Adam Waldman, his American lawyer, that FBI agents told him State’s reasons for blocking his U.S. visa were “merely a pretext.”

“The FBI said they had undertaken a careful background check, and if there was any validity to the State Department smears, they would not have reached out to me for assistance,” the Russian said.

Then, over the past two years, evidence emerged tying him to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the first defendant charged by Mueller’s Russia probe with money laundering and illegal lobbying. Deripaska once hired Manafort as a political adviser and invested money with him in a business venture that went bad. Deripaska sued Manafort, alleging he stole money.

Mueller’s indictment of Manafort makes no mention of Deripaska, even though prosecutors have evidence that Manafort contemplated inviting his old Russian client for a 2016 Trump campaign briefing. Deripaska said he never got the invite and investigators have found no evidence it occurred. There’s no public evidence Deripaska had anything to do with election meddling.

Deripaska also appears to be one of the first Russians the FBI asked for help when it began investigating the now-infamous Fusion GPS “Steele Dossier.” Waldman, his American lawyer until the sanctions hit, gave me a detailed account, some of which U.S. officials confirm separately.

Two months before Trump was elected president, Deripaska was in New York as part of Russia’s United Nations delegation when three FBI agents awakened him in his home; at least one agent had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Levinson. During an hour-long visit, the agents posited a theory that Trump’s campaign was secretly colluding with Russia to hijack the U.S. election.

“Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious,” the lawyer said. “So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing,’ he told them.” The agents left though the FBI sought more information in 2017 from the Russian, sources tell me. Waldman declined to say if Deripaska has been in contact with the FBI since Sept, 2016.

So why care about some banished Russian oligarch’s account now?

Two reasons.

  • First, as the FBI prepared to get authority to surveil figures on Trump’s campaign team, did it disclose to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that one of its past Russian sources waived them off the notion of Trump-Russia collusion? 
  • Second, the U.S. government in April imposed sanctions on Deripaska, one of several prominent Russians targeted to punish Vladimir Putin — using the same sort of allegations that State used from 2006 to 2009. Yet, between those two episodes, Deripaska seemed good enough for the FBI to ask him to fund that multimillion-dollar rescue mission. And to seek his help on a sensitive political investigation. And to allow him into the country eight times.

I was alerted to Deripaska’s past FBI relationship by U.S. officials who wondered whether the Russian’s conspicuous absence from Mueller’s indictments might be related to his FBI work.

They aren’t the only ones.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told me he believes Mueller has a conflict of interest because his FBI previously accepted financial help from a Russian that is, at the very least, a witness in the current probe.

“The real question becomes whether it was proper to leave [Deripaska] out of the Manafort indictment, and whether that omission was to avoid the kind of transparency that is really required by the law,” Dershowitz said.

Melanie Sloan, a former Clinton Justice Department lawyer and longtime ethics watchdog, told me a “far more significant issue” is whether the earlier FBI operation was even legal: “It’s possible the bureau’s arrangement with Mr. Deripaska violated the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits the government from accepting voluntary services.”  

George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley agreed: “If the operation with Deripaska contravened federal law, this figure could be viewed as a potential embarrassment for Mueller. The question is whether he could implicate Mueller in an impropriety.”

Now that sources have unmasked the Deripaska story, time will tell whether the courts, Justice, Congress or a defendant formally questions if Mueller is conflicted. In the meantime, the episode highlights an oft-forgotten truism: The cat-and-mouse maneuvers between Moscow and Washington are often portrayed in black-and-white terms. But the truth is, the relationship is enveloped in many shades of gray.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

[Editor’s note: This post was updated at 8:10 p.m. on May 14, 2018.]

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Developing: FBI Report Shows HUGE Discrepancy Between McCabe’s and Comey’s Testimonies


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An internal FBI document shows that the testimony given by Andrew McCabe about leaking to the Washington Post is diametrically opposed to testimony given by James Comey.

It’s a safe bet that one of them is lying. If it turns out to be McCabe, which is likely, he doesn’t need to worry about his pension as much as he should be worrying about prison. McCabe had testified that he had told Comey about the release but when Comey was questioned, he denied that McCabe ever told him about it.

CNN reported:

Former FBI Director James Comey told internal investigators at the Justice Department that he could not recall McCabe telling him about having authorized FBI officials to talk to a reporter about an ongoing investigation, the sources said. 

Comey’s comments to the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, which were later included as part of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility report on McCabe that prompted his firing earlier this month, put him at odds with the statements McCabe has made about authorizing FBI officials to provide information to the Wall Street Journal in an October 2016 story about FBI and Justice Department tensions over an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

McCabe has publicly maintained that he was in a position to authorize the other FBI officials speaking with the reporter and that Comey was aware McCabe had done it.

McCabe and his lawyer both argue that they didn’t lie to Comey and that Comey’s memory just wasn’t that good. But Jim Jordan blasted that by pointing out that McCabe lied four times about not authorizing the leak:

JORDAN: “McCabe didn’t lie just once, he lied four times. He lied to James Comey. He lied to the Office of Professional Responsibility and he lied twice under oath to the Inspector General.” 

“Remember, this is Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI. This is Andrew McCabe, the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page talking about Andy’s office, the meeting where they talk about the insurance policy in case Donald Trump is actually President of the United States… Four times he lied about leaking information to the Wall Street Journal.”

Lock him up!


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