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Clinging to Collusion: Why Evidence Will Probably Never Be Produced in the Indictments of ‘Russian Agents’

Mueller’s indictment against 12 GRU agents who allegedly carried out the DNC hack is fact free and does not support charge of collusion against Trump campaign.

Joe Lauria

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Mueller's indictment against 12 GRU agents who allegedly carried out the DNC hack is fact free and does not support charge of collusion against Trump campaign.

This article was first published by Consortium News and is republished with permission.

The indictment of 12 Russian ‘agents,’ which included no collusion with Trump’s team, is essentially a political and not legal document because it is almost certain the U.S. government will never have to present any evidence in court, reports Joe Lauria. 

Charges against 12 Russian intelligence agents for allegedly hacking emails from the Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential election were announced by the U.S. Justice Department on Friday at the very moment President Donald Trump was meeting Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and just days before a summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

A central claim of Russia-gate has been that the Russian government with help from the Trump campaign stole emails from the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign and then gave those emails to WikiLeaks for publication to damage Clinton’s quest for the White House.

Until Friday however, the investigation into the allegations had produced no formal indictment of Russian government interference in the election. Like previous U.S. government accusations against Russia for alleged election meddling, the indictment makes assertions without providing evidence. Indictments do not need to show evidence and under U.S. law, indictments are not considered evidence. And it is highly unlikely that the government will ever have to produce any evidence in court.

Friday’s indictments do not include any charges against Trump campaign members for allegedly colluding with the Russian government to carry out the hacks. That has been at the core of allegations swirling in U.S. media for two years. If the alleged co-conspirators “known” to the DOJ were on the Trump team, the indictments do not say. There is only a hint that “unknown” persons might be.

In announcing the indictments at a press conference Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said: “The conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet. There’s no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.”

The indictment alleges that Russian agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, communicated on Aug. 15, 2016 with “a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of the Trump campaign, mostly like advisor Roger Stone, who has spoken about communicating with Guccifer 2.0. The indictment says Guccifer offered to “help u anyhow,” apparently indicating that Stone did want Guccifer 2.0’s help.

Clinging to ‘Collusion’

The lack of evidence that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia has never stopped Democrats and their media outlets from believing unnamed U.S. intelligence sources for two years about such collusion. “Collusion” is the title of a best-selling book about the supposed Trump-Russia conspiracy to steal the election, but such a charge is not to be found.

The indictment excluding collusion also undermines the so-called Steele dossier, a work of opposition research paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign masquerading as an intelligence document because it was compiled by a former MI6 agent. The memos falsely claimed, it turns out, that Trump’s people started colluding with Russia years before he became a candidate.

But even after Friday’s indictments failed to charge anyone from Trump’s team, the Democratic media continued to insist there was collusion. A New York Times story, headlined, “Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Clinton. Were They Listening?,” said Russia may have absurdly responded to Trump’s call at 10:30 a.m. on July 27, 2016 to hack Clinton’s private email server because it was “on or about” that day that Russia allegedly first made an attempt to hack Clinton’s personal emails, according to the indictment, which makes no connection between the two events.

If Russia is indeed guilty of remotely hacking the emails it would have had no evident need of assistance from anyone on the Trump team, let alone a public call from Trump on national TV to commence the operation.

And as Twitter handle “Representative Press” pointed out: “Trump’s July 27, 2016 call to find the missing 30,000 emails could not be a ‘call to hack Clinton’s server’ because at that point it was no longer online. Long before Trump’s statement, Clinton had already turned over her email server to the U.S. Department of Justice.” Either the indictment was talking about different servers or it is being intentionally misleading when it says “on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.”

GRU HQ, Moscow.

Instead of Trump operatives, the indictments name 12 Russians, allegedly agents from the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency. The agents “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury (collectively the ‘Conspirators’), to gain unauthorized access (to ‘hack’) into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, steal documents from those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” the 29-page indictment says.

“Starting in at least March 2016, the Conspirators used a variety of means to hack the email accounts of volunteers and employees of the U.S. presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton (the ‘Clinton Campaign’), including the email account of the Clinton Campaign’s chairman,” the indictment says.

Obvious Timing

The timing of the announcement was clearly intended to embarrass Trump as he was meeting the Queen and to undermine his upcoming meeting with Putin on July 16. The indictments may also have been meant to embarrass Russia two days before the World Cup final to be held in Moscow.

Pressure was immediately brought on Trump to cancel the summit in light of the indictments, which may have been the main goal in the timing of their announcement. “Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy,” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement less than an hour after the indictments were announced. “President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections,” Schumer said.

With no apparent irony, The New York Times reported, “The timing of the indictment … added a jolt of tension to the already freighted atmosphere surrounding Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Putin. It is all but certain to feed into the conspiratorial views held by the president and some of his allies that Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors are determined to undermine Mr. Trump’s designs for a rapprochement with Russia.”

Russia Denies

Meanwhile, back in Washington … (ABC screenshot)

The Russian government on Friday strongly denied the charges. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called the indictments “a shameful farce” that was not backed up by any evidence. “Obviously, the goal of this ‘mud-slinging’ is to spoil the atmosphere before the Russian-American summit,” the statement said.

The Ministry added that the 12 named Russians were not agents of the GRU.

“When you dig into this indictment … there are huge problems, starting with how in the world did they identify 12 Russian intelligence officers with the GRU?” said former CIA analyst Larry Johnson in an interview with Consortium News. Johnson pointed out that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency was not allowed to take part in the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment on alleged interference by the GRU. Only hand-picked analysts from the FBI, the NSA and the CIA were involved.

“The experts in the intelligence community on the GRU … is the Defense Intelligence Agency and they were not allowed to clear on that document,” Johnson said.

“When you look at the level of detail about what [the indictment is] claiming, there is no other public source of information on this, and it was not obtained through U.S. law enforcement submitting warrants and getting affidavits to conduct research in Russia, so it’s clearly intelligence information from the NSA, most likely,” Johnson said.

CrowdStrike’s Role

The indictment makes clear any evidence of an alleged hack of the DNC and DCCC computers did not come from the FBI, which was never given access to the computers by the DNC, but instead from the private firm CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC. It is referred to as Company 1 in the indictment.

“Despite the Conspirators’ efforts to hide their activity, beginning in or around May 2016, both the DCCC and DNC became aware that they had been hacked and hired a security company (“Company 1”) to identify the extent of the intrusions,” the indictment says.

Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank.

The indictment doesn’t mention it, but within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian “fingerprints” in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia in the hack.

CrowdStrike claimed the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike’s conclusion about Russian “fingerprints” resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy or amateur hackers—or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

One of CrowdStrike’s founders has ties to the anti-Russian Atlantic Council raising questions of political bias. And the software it used to determine Russia’s alleged involvement in the DNC hack, was later proved to be faulty in a high-profile case in Ukraine, reported by the Voice of America.

The indictment then is based at least partially on evidence produced by an interested private company, rather than the FBI.

Evidence Likely Never to be Seen

Other apparent sources for information in the indictment are intelligence agencies, which normally create hurdles in a criminal prosecution.

“In this indictment there is detail after detail whose only source could be intelligence, yet you don’t use intelligence in documents like this because if these defendants decide to challenge this in court, it opens the U.S. to having to expose sources and methods,” Johnson said.

If the U.S. invoked the states secret privilege so that classified evidence could not be revealed in court a conviction before a civilian jury would be jeopardized.

Such a trial is extremely unlikely however. That makes the indictment essentially a political and not a legal document because it is almost inconceivable that the U.S. government will have to present any evidence in court to back up its charges. This is simply because of the extreme unlikelihood that arrests of Russians living in Russia will ever be made.

In this way it is similar to the indictment earlier this year of the Internet Research Agency of St. Petersburg, Russia, a private click bait company that was alleged to have interfered in the 2016 election by buying social media ads and staging political rallies for both Clinton and Trump. It seemed that no evidence would ever have to back up the indictment because there would never be arrests in the case.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller was stunned when lawyers for the internet company showed up in Washington demanding discovery in the case. That caused Mueller to scramble and demand a delay in the first hearing, which was rejected by a federal judge. Mueller is now battling to keep so-called sensitive material out of court.

In both the IRA case and Friday’s indictments, the extremely remote possibility of convictions were not what Mueller was apparently after, but rather the public perception of Russia’s guilt resulting from fevered media coverage of what are after all only accusations, presented as though it is established fact. Once that impression is settled into the public consciousness, Mueller’s mission would appear to be accomplished.

For instance, the Times routinely dispenses with the adjective “alleged” and reports the matter as though it is already established fact. It called Friday’s indictments, which are only unproven charges, “the most detailed accusation by the American government to date of the [not alleged] Russian government’s interference in the 2016 election, and it includes a litany of [not alleged] brazen Russian subterfuge operations meant to foment chaos in the months before Election Day.”

GRU Named as WikiLeak’s Source

The indictment claims that GRU agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, (who says he is a Romanian hacker) stole the Democratic documents and later emailed a link to them to WikiLeaks, named as “Organization 1.” No charges were brought against WikiLeaks on Friday.

Assange: Denied Russia was his source. (CNBC screenshot)

“After failed attempts to transfer the stolen documents starting in late June 2016, on or about July 14, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent Organization 1 an email with an attachment titled ‘wk dnc linkl.txt.gpg,’” the indictment says. “The Conspirators explained to Organization 1 that the encrypted file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents. On or about July 18, 2016, Organization 1 confirmed it had ‘the 1Gb or so archive’ and would make a release of the stolen documents’ this week.’”

WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange, who is in exile in the Ecuador embassy in London, has long denied that he got the emails from any government. Instead Assange has suggested that his source was a disgruntled Democratic Party worker, Seth Rich, whose murder on the streets of Washington in July 2016 has never been solved.

On Friday, WikiLeaks did not repeat the denial that a government was its source. Instead it tweeted: “Interesting timing choice by DoJ today (right before Trump-Putin meet), announcing indictments against 12 alleged Russian intelligence officers for allegedly releasing info through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.”

Assange has had all communication with the outside world shut off by the Ecuadorian government two months ago.

Since the indictments were announced, WikiLeaks has not addressed the charge that GRU agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, were its source. WikiLeaks’ policy is to refuse to disclose any information about its sources. WikiLeaks’ denial that the Russian government gave them the emails could be based on its belief that Guccifer 2.0 was who he said he was, and not what the U.S. indictments allege.

Those indictments claim that the Russian military intelligence agents adopted the personas of both Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks to publish the Democratic Party documents online, before the Russian agents, posing as Guccifer 2.0, allegedly supplied WikiLeaks.

The emails, which the indictment does not say are untrue, damaged the Clinton campaign. They revealed, for instance, that the campaign and the Democratic Party worked to deny the nomination to Clinton’s Democratic Party primary challenger Bernie Sanders.

The indictments also say that the Russian agents purchased the use of a computer server in Arizona, using bitcoin to hide their financial transactions. The Arizona server was used to receive the hacked emails from the servers of the Democratic Party and the chairman of Clinton’s campaign, the indictment alleges. If true it would mean the transfer of the emails took place within the United States, rather than overseas, presumably to Russia.

Some members of the Veterans’ Intelligence Professionals for Sanity argue that metadata evidence points to a local download from the Democratic computers, in other words a leak, rather than a hack. They write the NSA would have evidence of a hack and, unlike this indictment, could make the evidence public: “Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked. The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods.”

That argument was either ignored or dismissed by Mueller’s team.

The Geopolitical Context

US enabled Yeltsin’s reelection.

It is not only allies of Trump, as the Times thinks, who believe the timing of the indictments, indeed the entire Russia-gate scandal, is intended to prevent Trump from pursuing detente with nuclear-armed Russia.  Trump said of the indictments that, “I think that really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia. I think that we would have a chance to have a very good relationship with Russia and a very good chance — a very good relationship with President Putin.”

There certainly appear to be powerful forces in the U.S. that want to stop that.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed American hawks whose desire is to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia’s vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia’s borders.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate appears to have been used not only to explain away Clinton’s defeat but to stop Trump — possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage — because he talks about cooperation with Russia.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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Boy this whole thing would make a great Hollywood movie the way it is written.

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Mueller report contains claim Russia taped Bill Clinton having phone sex with Monica Lewinsky

Bill Clinton allegedly was recorded by Russia in the 1990s, allowing Russia to learn of the affair before American officials.

Washington Examiner

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Via The Washington Examiner…


Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report mentions a claim that Russians recorded President Bill Clinton having phone sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky — but the reference was redacted from the version released to the public.

The redaction is likely to anger Republicans, because the allegation has been known since at least 2001 and the Mueller report’s reference to a claim that President Trump watched prostitutes urinating in a Moscow hotel room was not struck out.

Clinton allegedly was recorded by Russia in the 1990s, allowing Russia to learn of the affair before American officials. A reference to the Clinton intercept was redacted from the Mueller report to protect “personal privacy,” but sources told the Washington Examiner that the context makes clear what was blacked out.

According to the report, Center for the National Interest President Dimitri Simes sent Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner a 2016 email with recommended talking points to counter Hillary Clinton’s Russia attacks. The email referenced “a well-documented story of highly questionable connections” between Bill Clinton and Russia.

At a meeting in New York, Simes told Kushner the details: Russia allegedly recorded President Clinton on the phone with Lewinsky, opening questions of foreign leverage over the ex-president-turned-potential first spouse.

“During the August 17 meeting, Simes provided Kushner the Clinton-related information that he had promised. Simes told Kushner that, [redacted],” the Mueller report says. “Simes claimed that he had received this information from former CIA and Reagan White House official Fritz Ermarth, who claimed to have learned it from U.S. intelligence sources, not from Russians.”

Ermarth, 78, a 25-year CIA veteran and chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 1988 to 1993, said he was concerned with the wording in the report. He said the report inaccurately suggests he mishandled classified information, when in fact he used public sourcing.

“The line in the Mueller report that says any of this was based on intelligence information is the product either of faulty remembering by Dimitri or a flawed inference … or a hostile fabrication by the Mueller people,” Ermarth said. “[The report wording] implies my misuse of intelligence or use of intelligence that is classified in this context. And that is completely false.”

Independent counsel Ken Starr’s 1998 report on Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky identified 17 phone sex calls in 1996 and 1997. The report says Clinton told Lewinsky “that he suspected that a foreign embassy (he did not specify which one) was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories. If ever questioned, she should say that the two of them were just friends. If anyone ever asked about their phone sex, she should say that they knew their calls were being monitored all along, and the phone sex was just a put-on.”

Ermarth thinks he told Simes that the Clinton-Lewinsky phone call was intercepted while the president was traveling on Air Force One, but that detail is believed to not have been conveyed to Kushner or included in the report.

The former CIA officer, who was not interviewed by Mueller, said he discussed the intercept with Simes during a trip to Washington in either 2014 or 2015. The story’s omission from the Mueller report hints at a double standard for the Clintons, he said.

Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment, as did Simes. A White House spokesman and Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell did not respond to requests for comment.

The report was redacted by Justice Department leadership in cooperation with Mueller’s team. There were 855 redactions, according to the Smoking Gun. Only 7% of of those redactions were justified by “personal privacy,” according to an analysis by Vox. Most information was withheld because it involved grand jury deliberations or because it could harm an ongoing criminal case.

According to the report, Simes told investigators Kushner appeared to consider the phone-sex story “old news,” as news outlets had long ago reported that Russia had advanced knowledge about Lewinsky. Meanwhile, Kushner told Mueller’s team he did not receive information from Simes that could be “operationalized” and doubted new negative information could be unearthed on the Clintons.

Though the report was redacted to protect the former president’s privacy, it does reference an alleged sex tape featuring Trump watching prostitutes urinate in a Moscow hotel. The Mueller report says Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze texted former Trump attorney Michael Cohen that he “[s]topped flow of tapes from Russia.” Rtskhiladze told Mueller’s team that “he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen.”

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FBI Texts Show Agents Discussed Recruiting White House Sources To Spy For Bureau

The texts and sources reveal that Strzok had one significant contact within the White House – Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Joshua Pitcock.

Sara Carter

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Via SaraCarter.com:


Senior Republican chairmen submitted a letter Thursday to Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr revealing new texts from former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok to his paramour FBI Attorney Lisa Page showing the pair had discussed attempts to recruit sources within the White House to allegedly spy on the Trump administration.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson revealed the information in a three page letter. The texts had been obtained by SaraACarter.com Tuesday and information regarding the possible attempt to recruit White House sources had been divulged by several sources to this news site last week.

The texts and sources reveal that Strzok had one significant contact within the White House – Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Joshua Pitcock, whose wife was working as an analyst for Strzok on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server. A senior White House official told this news site that Pitcock’s wife recused herself from the Clinton investigation as soon as Pence and Trump became the Republican nominees in July 2016. A senior law enforcement official also told SaraACarter.com that Pitcock’s wife no longer worked under Strzok after she recused herself from the Clinton investigation.

However, the text messages uncovered from November, 2016 and have left questions lingering about the relationship between Strzok, Pitcock and his wife among congressional investigators and lawmakers.

“The course of our oversight work we have reviewed certain text messages that may show potential attempts by the FBI to conduct surveillance of President-elect Trump’s transition team,” the letter states. “In text messages exchanged between former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page, the two discussed the possibility of developing “potential relationships” at a November 2016 FBI briefing for presidential transition team staff. Specifically, it appears they discussed sending “the CI guy” to assess an unnamed person ‘demeanor’ but were concerned because it might be unusual for him to attend.”

The Senators are investigating if any “of these communications, and the precise purpose of any attempts to ‘develop relationships’ with Trump or VP Mike Pence transition team staff are not immediately clear.”

Were these efforts done to gain better communication between the respective parties, or were the briefings used as intelligence gathering operations? Further, did any such surveillance activities continue beyond the inauguration, and in the event they did, were those activities subject to proper predication,” the letter states.

“Any improper FBI surveillance activities that were conducted before or after the 2016 election must be brought to light and properly addressed.”

The Texts

A few weeks after the presidential election, Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page discussed the logistics for the briefing. Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page said the following:

Strzok: Talking with Bill. Do we want Joe to go with Evanina instead of Charli for a variety of reasons?

(Strzok is referring to former FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence division Bill Priestap. ‘Joe is referencing FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who interviewed former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in January, 2017. And Evanina is in reference to William Evanina, National Counterintelligence and Security Center.)

Page: Hmm. Not sure. Would it be unusual to have [sic] show up again? Maybe another agent from the team?

Strzok: Or, he’s “the CI guy.” Same.might [sic] make sense. He can assess if there [sic] are any news [sic] Qs, or different demeanor. If Katie’s husband is there, he can see if there are people we can develop for potential relationships

Page: Should I ask Andy about it? Or Bill (Priestap) want to reach out for Andy (McCabe)?Strzok: I told him I’m sure we could ask you to make the swap if we thought it.

FBI Seeks Sources In White House

There was one major connection in the White House. According to documents, White House sources and the FBI one of FBI’s top counterintelligence analysts who was personally working for former FBI Special Agent Strzok had a spouse working directly for Vice President Mike Pence.

The White House and the FBI told this news site that she had recused herself from the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and working for Strzok as soon as Pence and Trump announced they were the candidates for the party.

The FBI asked that her name be kept private as not to reveal her identity. Her identity, however is revealed in the texts below. But this news site is withholding her last name for security reasons.

An FBI Intelligence analyst named Katherine, is married to Joshua Pitcock. Katherine’s name is different from her husbands. Pitcock worked for Pence as his Chief of Staff from January, 2017 until he resigned in August, 2017.

Prior to accepting his then new role at the White House, he had served as a senior Trump campaign official and long time aide to Pence.

Katherine had been detailed to Strzok and according to sources was one of the top analysts in the investigation into Hillary Clinton, according to federal law enforcement sources and U.S. officials.

Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in 2017 and then fired from the FBI in August, 2018. He was fired after an extensive review by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation and was removed from Mueller’s team after the IG discovered his anti-Trump text messages to his paramour former FBI Attorney Lisa Page.

A senior White House official told SaraACarter.com that it is “our understanding that as soon as the President and Vice President accepted the nomination, she recused herself for the entire time after they were officially the nominees from anything that would have spill over to the White House.”

FBI officials could not immediately respond for comment.

Trump announced Pence as his pick on July 15, 2016. They officially became nominees on July 21, 2016 at the Republican convention. This means, Katherine was working on the Russia investigation with Strzok prior to that time frame. Strzok’s direct involvement and actions during the investigation will more than likely lead to criminal charges, a source with knowledge told SaraACarter.com.

A former senior intelligence official who spoke to this news-site said “my concern about this is the potential for information to flow from her to her husband to spin any information that the Vice President may or may not have heard during that time frame.” The former intelligence source said the connection raises questions regarding information that may have moved from the FBI into the vice president’s orbit “regarding former (National Security Advisor Michael Flynn),” they added.

The senior White House official responded saying, “she was recused from that investigation before he was ever sworn into office. That didn’t happen.”

However, “the texts leave many questions unanswered and appear to show that Strzok was in communication with Pitcock on some level,” the intelligence official added.

During the time Pitcock served as chief of staff, Flynn became the highest profile target of the now debunked investigation into the campaign.

In the letter Grassley and Johnson refer to Barr’s testimony “during your April 10, 2019, testimony before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, you stated that you are looking into the ‘genesis and conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016.’ You further stated that ‘spying did occur,’ and that you believe it is your obligation to look into the question of whether surveillance activities by the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation (FBI) or other intelligence agencies were adequately predicated.”

“We share your concerns about these activities, and are troubled by the apparent unauthorized disclosures of surveillance efforts and other classified information during the same time period,” the Chairmen state in the letter. “We bring to your attention information that may assist your review.

Page Two of The Letter

Questions for Attorney General Barr April 25, 2019

  1. Please describe the nature and extent o f your review o f FBI surveillance o f the Trump Campaign, President-elect Trump’s transition staff, Vice President- elect Pence’s transition staff, President Trump’s staff, and Vice President Pence’s staff, including your efforts to determine whether that surveillance was adequately predicated.
  2. How many counter-intelligence briefings were provided to the Trump and Pence transition staffs prior to Inauguration Day? Please list the dates, all agencies involved, and each official that represented those agencies at the briefings.
  3. Many of the FBI employees involved in these activities are no longer employed by the federal government. How will your review obtain information needed from these individuals?
  4. Will you commit to providing the results of your review once completed?
  5. What steps have you taken to investigate whether DOJ or FBI officials hadunauthorized contacts with the media during the Russia investigation?

We anticipate that your written reply and most responsive documents will be unclassified. Please send all unclassified material directly to each Committee. In keeping with the requirements of Executive Order 13526, if any of the responsive documents do contain classified information, please segregate all unclassified material within the classified documents, provide all unclassified information directly to each Committee, and provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security. Although our Committees comply with all laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information, they are not bound, absent prior agreement, by any handling restrictions.

 

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Ethics, Morals and Integrity in British Public Life

Why does the UK Government, the FCO in particular, allow its retired diplomats to be able to go straight into the private sector without any ‘cooling off’ period?

Richard Galustian

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The ethics of allowing retiring British government officials to use immediately ‘the revolving door’ seems immoral.

Something that immediately springs to mind is how did former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair amass a fortune of nearly £100m within years of leaving office?

Ponder that fact about Blair when considering the true definition of ethics and integrity in public life worldwide.

War torn Libya is a most recent example in point. Libya, where most reasonable people would think it strange for companies to try and win business while there is war; or maybe it’s as the original Baron Rothschild put it, seek business when there is “blood on the streets”.

Peter Millett, former British Ambassador to Libya, is a merely a case in point, becoming a Board member of the LBBC (https://lbbc.org.uk/).

The Libyan British Business Council do some good networking for companies who seek work in the war torn country that is currently Libya, not, to be frank, earth shatteringly effective, not its fault given the civil war, but it has to be said, only a few of its individual members (of the LBBC) are distinguished and capable and well connected in their own right; most others are less so.

More important for Millett though, no doubt, is his new personal company he recently created in London. It’s called The Peter Millett Consultancy Ltd and describes itself as “Interested in offering consultancy and advice to companies and organisation interested in working overseas.”

Why, many ask, is any former Ambassador continuing to comment/meddle in affairs of their last posting, without making it abundantly clear they work for the private sector actually for themselves and not HMG, a distinction difficult for most locals, on this case Libyans to make. What, if any, are his conflict of interests? The British and Libyan public have a right to know.

Why does the UK Government, the FCO in particular, allow its retired diplomats to be able to go straight into the private sector without any ‘cooling off’ period?

Why is he (or any former government or military personnel) allowed to do this? The problem applies to all countries, not only those who served in Libya.

However Libya serves well to highlight the overall ethical problem.

And of course Millett is no exception but an example and as an individual is a fine capable man. However what worries Libyans is that he (and other like him from not only UK) regularly for example tweet about Libya without declaring their personal financial interests, such as retainers from companies. The rumour amongst Libyans is that Millett is receiving fees through one of the Tripoli based Libyan ‘Prime Minister’ Fayez Serraj’s departments or from one of Serraj’s cronies. Something which is very doubtful one hopes.

(Note: SEE COMPLAINT LETTER FROM EAST LIBYAN AUTHORITIES, THE HoR, COMPLAINING ABOUT PETER MILLETT ADDRESSED TO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.)

Some Libyans even have said that he was incompetent as an Ambassador in Libya. The fact is conventional wisdom says that he served no better or worse than his predecessors.

The truth is he probably mistakenly considers himself still important for Libyans and that he can influence Libyans – he and others like him are deluded in that regard. Similarly in America the former US State Department official Jonathan Weener continues his efforts in Libya.

Meanwhile in keeping with the many years tradition of ‘revolving door’ from Diplomatic service to private business, a new former Ambassador will no doubt be swelling the ranks of British private enterprise. Frank Baker OBE has just left the Diplomatic Service.

The new man in Libya being Martin Reynolds CMG, appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador in succession to Frank Baker.

By the way, Mr Reynolds will take up his appointment this month, April 2019.

The movement of individuals between the public and private sectors – known as the revolving door – it is feared by many could lead to ‘conflicts of interests’ situations, increasing the risks of, what some might call, corruption. Given their previous decision-making power, as Government servants with past access to key information and influence, former ministers and members of the government clearly can be an important asset for private companies. But is it ethical?

Governments should thus ensure that appropriate measures are in place to avoid former public officials misusing the information and power they hold to the benefit of their private interests. But do they?

The definition, according to Transparency International, of

“cooling-off periods, is the introduction of a minimum time interval restricting former public officials from accepting employment in the private sector…it is the most common measure to prevent conflicts of interest. Countries in Europe have set different cooling-off periods and requirements for former members of the government wishing to join the private sector. They usually vary from one to two years and are linked to specific types of activities in the private sector.

Overall, enforcement is still very weak and scandals related to post-public employment continue to appear in the media.

In the UK, the cooling-off period used to be measured in years but these days it’s weeks!

It begs the question when will ethics return to public life not only in UK but around the world?


HoR LETTER To HMG:

22 April 2019

Greetings,

Regarding: Former British ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett.

We urge you to open an urgent investigation into the suspicions of corruption associated with Libyan institutions and companies that deal with the the former British ambassador, who is still actively supporting and working with the Muslim Brotherhood and is now an ordinary citizen, he is providing political support and encouragement to the terrorists through social media that they are using on their channels as if it’s international political support to encourage young Libyans to fight and lose their life, in the absence of an appointed ambassador from his country.

This former ambassador, who, in a sign of international disregard and negative exploitation of the situation in Libya, had arranged for his country to arrange support for several officials of the Central Bank of Libya and the National Oil and Investment Corporation and support their installation in their positions through the Skhirat agreement and then resigned from the British government Another assignment as ambassador before his retirement, which raises the suspicion of corruption, we also surprised that a country so keen on the principles and transparency, Britain, did not move or notice this, dedicated to the special benefit of those who enabled them to lead these institutions, Corruption is at a time when Libyans are suffering from poor living in a time of corruption.

The list includes the governor of the Central Bank, Sadig Kabir who came to the position of governor by violation and was removed from office four years ago, and the President of the National Oil Corporation, which was charged with violating the law by the government of the member of the organization of the terrorist group Omar al-Hassi of the Libyan Fighting Group during the armed coup of militias in the Libyan capital In 2014 and the heads of departments of investment bodies, which at the lowest cases colluded from this former ambassador and interference in the internal affairs of Libya in order to prepare for private benefit and corruption, not the good of others.

It may be that the British government through these connections received wrong information and evaluation that resulted in the provisions, at that time, to provide political support terrible through this ambassador to the stream of corrupt political Islam from the Muslim Brotherhood organization and the Salvation Front and the Libyan Fighting Group, which carried out a terrorist act in the heart of Manchester, He (millet) when he was ambassador said that he was keen to “neutralize the sovereign institutions from the conflict” and this contradicts law and all Libyan procedures, in order to enable his friends and future partners who met with him on a continuous basis, including oil officials (Mustapha Sanallah), Libyan investments Authority (Ali Mahmoud) and the Central Bank (Saddik Kabir).

After the end of his term in Libya, and the appointment of another ambassador who worked with all respect and professionalism and was very different from Millett, the former British ambassador Peter Milllet established a company called “Peter Millet Consultancy” with one share holder, Peter Millet, in the UK.

The company called “Peter Milliet” has become an adviser to one of the largest global oil marketing companies, “Glencore”, which was contracted for an exclusive monopoly for the marketing of the Messella and Sarror mix oil for three years, and it is now been revealed that he contracted with the Libyan Foreign Investment Corporation as a consultant to help Cases brought against them in the United Kingdom.

Peter Millett’s name also appeared as an intermediary in the deal to print the Libyan 1 dinar’s paper recently with the governor who he defended and ensured his continued position through the political agreement signed in Skhirat.

With the aim of protecting the interests of the Libyan people ,,, We would be grateful to publish the results of your inquiries about the suspicions of political corruption that led to huge financial corruption and the extent to which any person (Millet or others) benefited from what happened in Libya and its impact on the status of these institutions and the assessment of the damage to the taxpayers’ the Libyan citizens from their interventions and the extent of conflict of interests of Peter Millets private work as a public servant as ambassador to his country to the contracts now, and how he exploited this to obtain these gains and enrich and benefit in return for political support and facilitate access to visas and meetings with actors in his government With the aim of Political gain to stay at the expense of the Libyan people, who suffered the scourge of these same adherents in violation of the law and the Constitution of Libya by these swindlers despite them being relieved from posts and removed by the House of Representatives before and after the political agreement.

We wish you success and the Libyan people well…

With a great appreciation and respect,

Talal Al – Mayhoub

Chairman of the Defense and National Security Committee

HOR

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