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Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Worked Closely with Anti-Trump Dossier Hoaxer


Reported by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/06/alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-worked-closely-with-anti-trump-dossier-hoaxers/

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 20: Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee June 20, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Policy Response to Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. … Alex Wong/Getty Images

Eric Ciaramella, whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called whistleblower, was part of an Obama administration email chain celebrating the eventual signing of a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee to Ukraine.

That and other emails show Ciaramella interfaced about Ukraine with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and reportedly financed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. One of those individuals, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland (pictured), received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to Nuland’s direct role in the dossier controversy.

Also part of the email chains was Christopher J. Anderson, who was a special adviser to former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Anderson testified to the Democrat-led House committees running the impeachment inquiry.

Ciaramella’s name comes up in six Obama-era government emails that were released by the State Department as part of two previous Freedom of Information Act requests.  At the time of the exchanges, Ciaramella served as the Director for Baltic and Eastern European Affairs for the Obama-era National Security Council, where he worked on Ukraine policy.  He is now an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency.

One email, titled, “Loan Guarantee,” involved Nuland, who was reportedly a key champion of the Ukraine loan guarantee policy.

“Hurray,” a celebratory Nuland wrote in response to a translated Ukrainian government announcement about the signing of the $1 billion loan guarantee.  The announcement singles out Joe Biden as being present for the conclusion of an agreement leading to the loan guarantee.

Ciaramella was one of several people CC’d in the email, which was sent from the U.S. ambassador at the time, Geoffrey Pyatt, who was another key champion of the loan guarantee to Ukraine along with Nuland.

The email is one of several that shows Ciaramella in the loop with top officials such as Nuland working on Ukraine policy under the Obama administration.

The loan guarantee was pushed through after Ukraine agreed to several reforms, especially the firing of the nation’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. This at a time that Shokin was reportedly investigating Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company paying Hunter Biden.  Joe Biden infamously boasted on video about personally threatening to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine unless Shokin was removed.

Another released email shows Ciaramella himself sending a message to Nuland and others. Most of the contents are blocked out, including the email’s subject line. One non-classified section of that email shows a reply stating, “Embassy Kyiv — coordinated with our USAID mission folks — will have detailed input tomorrow.”

One email involving Nuland was sent two days before the loan guarantee was signed on June 3, 2016. “Can you confirm who will be doing the actual signing for each side?” the exchange asked.

Nuland has come under repeated fire for her various roles in the anti-Trump dossier controversy.

FBI notes also cite career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as saying that Nuland was in touch with Fusion GPS co-founder and dossier producer Glenn Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, who infamously delivered the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly first dispatched an aide, David J. Kramer, to inquire with Nuland about the dossier claims.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

Meanwhile, looped into email chains with Ciaramella was then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer.

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named Finer as obtaining the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually deciding to share the questionable document with Kerry.

Finer reportedly received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.

Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

In testimony last year, Nuland made statements about a meeting at the State Department in October 2016 between State officials and Steele, but said that she didn’t participate.

At a June 2018 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) revealed contents of the State Department’s visitor logs while he was grilling Nuland.

At the hearing, Burr asked: “I know you talked extensively with our staff relative to Mr. Steele. Based upon our review of the visitor logs of the State Department, Mr. Steele visited the State Department briefing officials on the dossier in October of 2016. Did you have any role in that briefing?”

“I did not,” Nuland replied. “I actively chose not to be part of that briefing.”

“But were you aware of that briefing?” Burr asked.

“I was not aware of it until afterwards,” Nuland retorted.

Nuland did not explain how she can actively chose not to be part of Steele’s briefing, as she claimed, yet say she was unaware of the briefing until after it occurred. Nuland was not asked about the discrepancy during the public section of the testimony, which was reviewed in full by Breitbart News.

Nuland previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Likely ‘whistleblower’

A RealClearInvestigations report by investigative journalist and author Paul Sperry named Ciaramella as best fitting the description of the so-called whistleblower. Officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings say Ciaramella’s name has been raised in private in impeachment depositions and during at least one House open hearing that was not part of the formal impeachment proceedings.

Federal documents show Ciaramella also worked closely with Joe Biden and worked under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked with former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump advocate who has faced controversy for his role in fueling the questionable Russia collusion investigation.  Rice participated in Russia collusion probe meetings and reportedly unmasked senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sperry cites former White House officials saying Ciaramella worked for Biden on Ukrainian policy issues in 2015 and 2016, encompassing the time period for which Biden has been facing possible conflict questions for leading Ukraine policy in light of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, the activist attorneys representing the so-called whistleblower, refused to confirm on deny that their secretive client is indeed Ciaramella.

“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the lawyers told the Washington Examiner in response to an inquiry about Ciaramella.

Zaid and Bakaj added, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”

On Sunday, Trump responded to press reports naming Ciaramella, calling him a “radical” known for his close ties to Brennan and Rice.

“Well, I’ll tell you what. There have been stories written about a certain individual, a male, and they say he’s the whistleblower,” Trump told reporters. “If he’s the whistleblower, he has no credibility because he’s a Brennan guy, he’s a Susan Rice guy, he’s an Obama guy.”

Trump added, “And he hates Trump. And he’s a radical. Now, maybe it’s not him. But if it’s him, you guys ought to release the information.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

FBI Bruce Ohr TESTIFIES: FBI Tried to Bring Down Trump


Reported by Kevin Jackson |

Rep. Adam Schiff

What happens when the reason you gave for investigating Trump falls apart?

We are about to find out. Because according to The Daily Caller,

Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s testimony about his meetings with FBI officials regarding dossier author Christopher Steele severely undercuts claims made in 2018 by California Rep. Adam Schiff and his fellow Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. Ohr told lawmakers Aug. 28, 2018, he briefed top FBI officials Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page in early August 2016, just days after he met with Steele, a former British spy who was investigating then-candidate Donald Trump. Ohr testified he told McCabe and Page about his interactions with Steele, who was working at the time for Fusion GPS, a Democrat-funded opposition research firm.

The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s unverified dossier to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

But there is more to the dossier, based on Steele’s admission to Ohr.

The article continues,

In a memo dated Feb. 2, 2018, House Intelligence Republicans, led by then-Chairman Devin Nunes, asserted the FBI filed to disclose in their FISA applications Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS. They also noted in the so-called Nunes memo that the FISA applications do not reveal Steele’s anti-Trump bias. Ohr claimed Steele told him during a meeting Sept. 23, 2016, he was “desperate” that Trump not win election.

So we have a fake dossier, presented by a foreigner who hated Donald Trump. And the FBI knew this information. Yet, they still continued to pursue FISA warrants.

No longer can the FBI pretend they were unaware until later, because Ohr testified he had shared details of his contacts with Steele with the FBI prior to the election.

Let’s review the cast of characters and where they fit past and present.

In addition to the meeting in early August 2016, Ohr met in late September 2016 or early the next month with Page, FBI counterintelligence deputy chief Peter Strzok, and Justice Department officials Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad and Andrew Weissmann. Ahmad and Weissmann are currently working on the special counsel’s investigation.

Unbelievably, Mueller’s team remains comprised of people who undoubtedly were out to get Donald Trump, pre and post-election. Still, Democrats pretend that Mueller and team remain unbiased?

Although Mueller will eventually become the fall guy for the Democrats, let’s not forget what Democrats said of Ohr’s role in this, as well as their contention about the timeline.

The FBI obtained its first FISA against Page on Oct. 21, 2016, weeks after that meeting.

Ohr’s testimony conflicts with House Intelligence Democrats’ claim in a memo released Feb. 24, 2018, that served as a rebuttal to the Nunes memo.

That document sought to defend the FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier and its applications for the first FISA warrant.

Democrats asserted Ohr did not meet with the FBI until after the 2016 election and thus had no opportunity to tell the FBI his wife worked for Fusion GPS. He was also unable to relay that Steele had communicated anti-Trump bias to him.

“[Republicans] mischaracterize[s] Bruce Ohr’s role, overstates the significance of his interactions with Steele, and misleads about the timeframe of Ohr’s communication with the FBI,” the so-called Schiff memo reads.

To put this simply, the FBI used the Steele dossier as evidence against Carter page. But when pressed, they claimed to have only been briefed on the dossier post-election.

I can’t wait to see bug-eyed Adam Schiff try to talk his way out of this one.

Fusion GPS Could Have Been Trying To Buy Access To DOJ With Payments To Official’s Wife


Reported by Luke Rosiak | Investigative Reporter | 8:31 PM 02/04/2018

URL of the original posting site: http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/04/fusion-gps-ohr/

Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. (Youtube screen grab)

  • Key DoJ official’s wife gathered opposition research on Donald Trump for Fusion GPS
  • Nellie Ohr was on Fusion GPS staff
  • Her husband, Bruce Ohr works at the DoJ and presented that info to FBI officials

Under a contract from the Clinton campaign, the Fusion GPS research firm was paying the wife of a senior Department of Justice official as part of its efforts to gather opposition research on Trump, and the same official then brought that research to the FBI.

Knowledge of the relationship has raised questions about the extent to which the firm may have paid for heightened access to the criminal justice system, and whether they would have hired Nellie Ohr absent her spousal connection to the DoJ.

A declassified memo said Bruce “Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the” court when it was used to obtain a surveillance warrant.

Bruce Ohr was deputy associate attorney general until December. House investigators determined that he met personally with Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS’ founder.

The FBI has limited resources to deal with a firehose of information, so people seeking the FBI’s attention could potentially benefit from greasing the wheels in order to get info to the front of the queue and to a high level.

“The money sweetened the pot for the Ohrs, and it certainly made it easier for Fusion to get the dossier to be used before the court if they made that payment to Bruce Ohr’s wife,” former judge and Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert told The Daily Caller News Foundation,

“Fusion had to have known that because of the relationship between Bruce Ohr and his wife, they were bringing Fusion, the DOJ and the DNC together under one roof to work for the same goal, which was to stop Donald Trump from becoming president,” he said.

Ohr’s wife, Nellie, is a Russia expert, but it is not known what her specific contribution to the dossier was.

“The financial arrangement between Mrs. Ohr and Fusion GPS gives the appearance of government-for-hire,” said Tom Anderson, an ethics expert at the conservative-leaning watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center. It “appears to be a sophisticated scheme to get access to the highest levels of our government … ensuring the use of government resources in an attempt to influence an election.”

Parties seeking to hide ethically questionable payments often write the checks to a family member. Since spouses generally share assets, payments to one benefit the other, and paying the spouse can make the payments less obvious or harder to trace.

Nellie did not return a message left on a number listed as her home phone number asking what contribution she made to the dossier.

Getting information into the hands of law enforcement through the family member of an official could have potentially also limited the paper trail showing how it wound up in FBI hands, and fingerprints tying it back to Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Gohmert, who is a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, said he believes that Ohr and other officials already harbored anti-Trump inclinations, but the money could have helped push him over the edge to take a leading role. “It was a way to reward people that thought like them. They enriched themselves and their friends.”

Voter registration data shows Nellie has been a registered Democrat in the past.

DOJ Official Linked To Trump Dossier Leaves Another High-Level Post


Reported by Chuck Ross | Reporter | 3:08 PM 01/08/2018

A Justice Department official who was demoted last month after he was found to have links to the Trump dossier has left a second high-level position at the agency, The Daily Caller has confirmed. At the beginning of last month, Bruce Ohr held two positions at DOJ: associate deputy attorney general and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF).

Fox News first reported on Monday that Ohr will no longer lead OCDETF. A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed Ohr’s separation from that division but did not say whether Ohr resigned or was removed from the position.

Ohr’s job as associate deputy attorney general put him just a few office doors down from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign.

But Ohr was removed from that position early last month after it was revealed that in 2016, he met separately with Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, and with Glenn Simpson, the founder of the opposition research firm that commissioned the salacious document. Fox News first reported that Ohr met before the election with Steele, a former MI6 agent. He met just after the election with Simpson, who operates Fusion GPS. Ohr’s wife, a former CIA employee and Russia expert named Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS to investigate Trump during the campaign.

Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, told the House Intelligence Committee in November that he had met with Ohr. Fox News has reported that the Justice Department was not aware of Ohr’s links to Fusion GPS and the dossier.

Ohr is slated to meet with the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, agreed last week to make Ohr and several other DOJ and FBI officials available for interviews with the House panel.

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