Category Archives: spygate

CIA Notes Confirm US Intelligence Officials Targeted Trump After He Was Elected — Ran a Coup on President Trump While in Office

Jim Hoft
Published April 16, 2022

For years now The Gateway Pundit has reported on the attempted coup against President Trump and his administration. We now know that this coup was real and involved several intelligence officials as well as the Hillary Clinton Campaign, Barack Obama, Joe Biden with the undying support from the fake news mainstream media.

Now they are caught.

Any other human being would have folded under the pressure. Not President Donald Trump. He was harassed, attacked and smeared his entire presidency by thousands of Democrats and the far left media complex. But he never folded. He excelled with record economic numbers, historic peace deals, a secure border, and an America-First foreign policy.

Now there is more evidence that the US intel community and Democrat politicians targeted president Trump after he was elected and while he was in office.

CIA notes of the Sussman meeting confirm that the intel community and Democrats were targeting and spying on President Trump after he was in office.

These people need to be charged and face trial. We either have a country or we don’t.

Via TechnoFog.

Trump Calls For Clinton-Appointed Judge to Be Recused From His Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton and the DNC

Cassandra Fairbanks
March 26th, 2022

Former President Donald Trump is calling for the Clinton-appointed judge to be recused from his lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and nearly 50 others for sabotaging his presidency.

Trump discussed the lawsuit during an interview with BlazeTV host Glenn Beck.

The accusations in the 108 page complaint include, but are not limited to, RICO conspiracy, injurious falsehood, conspiracy to commit injurious falsehood, malicious prosecution, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, and theft of trade secrets.

“It was totally corrupt what they did,” Trump said.

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The Blaze reports that “the lawsuit will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton. In 2015, Middlebrooks threw out a civil racketeering suit filed against Hillary Clinton that claimed she had used her private email server and position as secretary of state to promise changes in U.S. foreign policy in exchange for speaking fees and donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

Trump told Beck that this is a conflict of interest and that Middlebrooks must recuse himself immediately.

“We have a judge that was appointed by Bill Clinton. And who knows Hillary Clinton very well. And we’re suing Hillary Clinton,” Trump said.

“Now, the problem we have, though, is if you have a judge that’s going to throw out the case, and you have to go through appeals. Yep, I think you have a great appeals section. But we’ll see. So we’ll probably ask for a recusal. Maybe a change of venue. But not a change as much as a recusal,” he added.

Trump is seeking $72 million in damages in the lawsuit.

Durham to Produce ‘Large Volume’ of Classified Materials on Steele’s Main Dossier Source Igor Danchenko

Cristina Laila
March 23rd, 2022

Special prosecutor John Durham will produce a ‘large volume’ of classified materials this week on Christopher Steele’s main dossier source, according to a new filing.

Recall, Steele’s main source, Igor Danchenko was arrested by the FBI in November 2021 on five counts of making false statements to the feds.

In June 2020 we broke the story that the Primary Sub-Source (PSS) for the Steele dossier was Igor Danchenko – the individual behind most of the made up lies in the Steele dossier.

The Washington Examiner reported:

The Justice Department plans to produce a “large volume” of classified materials this week in the Russiagate case against the main source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier.

Special counsel John Durham made the assertion in a filing Tuesday asking a judge for a deadline extension for the production of classified discovery in accordance with the Classified Information Procedures Act, a law that establishes procedures for protecting classified information in criminal cases. Durham pinned the need for a delay on agency personnel being involved in matters related to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“To date, the government has produced over 60,000 documents in unclassified discovery. A portion of these documents were originally marked ‘classified’ and the government has worked with the appropriate declassification authorities to produce the documents in an unclassified format,” Durham said in the filing submitted to federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia.

“However, recent world events in Ukraine have contributed to delays in the production of classified discovery. The officials preparing and reviewing the documents at the FBI and intelligence agencies are heavily engaged in matters related to Ukraine. Nevertheless, the government will produce a large volume of classified discovery this week and will continue its efforts to produce documents in classified discovery on a rolling basis, and no later than the proposed deadlines set forth below,” Durham added.

A new filing from Special Counsel John Durham reveals Perkins Coie allies connected to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign spied on Trump’s internet traffic – WHILE HE WAS PRESIDENT.

The Durham investigators also uncovered evidence that shows Hillary Clinton’s team paid operatives to “infiltrate” the Trump Tower and then President Trump’s White House servers to link Trump to Russia.

Judge Issues Crucial Ruling In Durham’s Case Against Clinton Campaign Lawyer

Jon Dougherty
March 11, 2022

A federal judge has rejected a bid by Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann to “strike” a “factual background” section of Special Counsel John Durham’s early February court filing.

Last month, Sussmann’s legal team filed a motion demanding that the court remove portions of the Feb. 11 filing that included the “Factual Background” section by claiming that it would “taint” a jury, Fox News reported Thursday evening.

“I’m not going to strike anything from the record,” noted U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Christopher Cooper during a status hearing. “Whatever effect the filing has had has already passed.”

The Epoch Times reported in February:

…Sussmann was representing the Clinton campaign when in 2016 he passed along information to an FBI counsel. His lawyers say the documents “raised national security concerns” while prosecutors describe them as purportedly detailing a covert channel between a Russian bank and the business of Donald Trump, Clinton’s rival at the time.

Sussmann was charged with lying to the FBI because he falsely told the counsel he was not providing the allegations to the FBI on behalf of any client despite presenting the information on behalf of the Clinton campaign, prosecutors say.

In a filing in February, Sussmann’s lawyers moved to dismiss the charge, claiming their client “did not make any false statement to the FBI” but even if he had, “the false statement alleged in the indictment is immaterial as a matter of law.”

“Allowing this case to go forward would risk criminalizing ordinary conduct, raise First Amendment concerns, dissuade honest citizens from coming forward with tips, and chill the advocacy of lawyers who interact with the government,” the filing stated.

Durham’s team responded by calling his claims “absurd” and asked the federal court in the District of Columbia to proceed.

“Far from finding himself in the vulnerable position of an ordinary person whose speech is likely to be chilled, the defendant – a sophisticated and well-connected lawyer – chose to bring politically-charged allegations to the FBI’s chief legal officer at the height of an election season,” Durham wrote in his court filing.

“He then chose to lie about the clients who were behind those allegations. Using such rare access to the halls of power for the purposes of political deceit is hardly the type of speech that the Founders intended to protect,” Durham, who was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the ‘Russiagate’ probe, noted.

“And far from being immaterial, they went on to say that ‘the defendant’s false statement was capable of influencing both the FBI’s decision to initiate an investigation and its subsequent conduct of that investigation,” the filing continued.

In its response to the Sussmann filing, Durham’s team noted: “The defendant’s false statement to the FBI General Counsel was plainly material because it misled the General Counsel about, among other things, the critical fact that the defendant was disseminating highly explosive allegations about a then-Presidential candidate on behalf of two specific clients, one of which was the opposing Presidential campaign.”

“The defendant’s efforts to mislead the FBI in this manner during the height of a Presidential election season plainly could have influenced the FBI’s decision-making in any number of ways,” Durham’s team continued.

If the case does go to trial, Durham will likely argue that the evidence proves the bureau could have done something prior to starting a full investigation into the matter, to include an assessment, and should have delayed making a decision until after the 2016 election or declined to have launched a probe at all.

Also in his filing, Durham suggested that were it not for Sussmann’s allegedly false statement to the FBI, the Russiagate probe of then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign would never have happened.

“Had the defendant truthfully informed the FBI General Counsel that he was providing the information on behalf of one or more clients, as opposed to merely acting as a ‘good citizen,’ the FBI General Counsel and other FBI personnel might have asked a multitude of additional questions material to the case initiation process,” Durham told the court in a memo filed late last week.

“Given the temporal proximity to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the FBI also might have taken any number of different steps in initiating, delaying, or declining the initiation of this matter had it known at the time that the defendant was providing information on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a technology executive at a private company,” he added.

Durham vs. Horowitz: Tension Over Truth and Consequences Grips the FBI’s Trump-Russia Reckoning

As he documents the role of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in generating false allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, Special Counsel John Durham has also previewed a challenge to the FBI’s claims about how and why its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign began.

At stake is the completeness of the official reckoning within the U.S. government over the Russiagate scandal – and whether there will be an accounting commensurate with the offense: the abuse of the nation’s highest law enforcement and intelligence powers to damage an opposition presidential candidate turned president, at the behest of his opponent from the governing party he defeated.

The drama is playing out against the clashing approaches of the two Justice Department officials tasked with scrutinizing the Russia probe’s origins and unearthing any misconduct: Durham, the Sphinx-like prosecutor with a reputation for toughness whose work continues; and Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice inspector general, whose December 2019 report faulted the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe but nonetheless concluded that it was launched in good faith.

The bureau’s defenders point to Horowitz’s report to argue that the FBI’s Trump-Russia conspiracy investigation, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, is untainted despite its extensive use of the discredited Clinton-funded Steele dossier. Though highly critical of the bureau’s use of Christopher Steele’s reports, Horowitz concluded that they “played no role in the Crossfire Hurricane opening,” which he said had met the department’s “low threshold” for opening an investigation.

But Durham has made plain his dissent. In response to Horowitz’s report, the special counsel announced that his office had “advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.” Durham stressed that, unlike Horowitz, his “investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department” and has instead obtained “information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.”

Durham’s office has not described the specific basis for its disagreement. But the Crossfire Hurricane advocates’ defense has a big problem: copious countervailing evidence in the public record – including in Horowitz’s own report. A considerable paper trail points to Steele’s political opposition research playing a greater role in the probe than the FBI has acknowledged:

  • Numerous officials received Steele’s allegations – some meeting with the ex-British intelligence officer himself – and discussed sending them up the FBI chain weeks before July 31, 2016, the Horowitz-endorsed date when the bureau claims it opened the Russia-Trump “collusion” investigation. These encounters call into question the FBI’s claim that Steele played no role in triggering Crossfire Hurricane and that its team only received the dossier weeks after their colleagues, on Sept. 19.
  • The FBI’s own records belie its claims that it decided to launch the Russia probe not because of the dossier, but instead on a vague tip recounting a London barroom conversation with a low-level Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos. Australian diplomat Alexander Downer’s tip, recorded in bureau records, was that Papadopoulos had merely “suggested” that Russia had made an unspecified “suggestion” of Russian help – a thin basis upon which to investigate an entire presidential campaign.
  • Upon officially opening Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, FBI officials immediately took investigative steps that mirrored the claims in the Steele dossier even though they were supposedly unaware of it. In August, the FBI team opened probes of Trump campaign figures Carter Page, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort – all of whom are mentioned in the dossier – based on predicates that are just as flimsy as the Downer-Papadopoulos pretext.
  • The FBI’s claim that Steele played no role in sparking the Trump-Russia probe is further called into question by top bureau officials’ previous false claims about the investigation, including Steele’s role. They not only lied to the public and Congress, but to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

‘Definitely of Interest to the Counterintelligence Folks’

Durham’s November indictment of Igor Danchenko, Steele’s main source, was the final nail in the coffin for the Clinton-funded dossier. But to sympathetic media amplifiers of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe, its origins were unscathed.

Horowitz’s report, wrote Mother Jones reporter (and early Steele media contact) David Corn, “concluded that the FBI investigation of Trump-Russia contacts had been legitimately launched” thereby proving that “there was no hoax.”

In an article attempting to demonstrate “Why the Discredited Dossier Does Not Undercut the Russia Investigation,” Charlie Savage of the New York Times said Horowitz’s report “established” that Steele’s allegations did not reach the Crossfire Hurricane team until Sept. 19, 2016, meaning that “they did not yet know about the dossier” when they launched the probe on July 31.

But if the Crossfire Hurricane team really did not learn of Steele until Sept. 19, then those leading the Russiagate probe were among the few high-ranking officials in Washington intelligence circles unaware of the dossier.

The first known Steele-FBI contact about the dossier came on July 5, more than three weeks before the Trump-Russia probe officially launched. Days before, Steele – working for the Clinton campaign via the Washington-based opposition research firm Fusion GPS – contacted Michael Gaeta, the senior FBI agent he had worked with on other matters. Gaeta was then serving in Rome as a legal attaché.

Steele, Gaeta recalled in congressional testimony, informed him that “I have some really interesting information you need to see … immediately.” Gaeta jumped at the chance: “I said, all right, I will be up there tomorrow,” and immediately caught a flight to London. At Steele’s office on that early-summer day, the former British spy briefed his eager FBI handler on the Trump-Russia conspiracy theories he had generated and handed over a copy of his first “intelligence report.”

Steele’s allegations did not stay in London, as Gaeta quickly shared them with FBI colleagues. “I couldn’t just sweep it under the rug, couldn’t discount it just on its face,” he told Congress, adding that Steele “was an established source.” On July 12, Gaeta told a colleague in the FBI’s New York field office, the then-assistant special agent in charge, about Steele’s allegations. According to Horowitz — the IG who concluded that Steele “played no role in the Crossfire Hurricane opening” – this agent then informed his superior about the Steele allegations “the same day.” The Steele material, Horowitz’s team was told, was seen by these FBI officials as “something that needs to be handled immediately” and “definitely of interest to the Counterintelligence folks.”

On July 28, at his FBI colleague’s request, Michael Gaeta passed along copies of the two reports he had received from Steele. As Horowitz later found, the first one (dated June 20, 2016) provided by Steele to Gaeta, would later become “one of four of Steele’s reports that the FBI relied upon to support” its surveillance applications for Carter Page.

Steele’s conspiracy theories quickly made their way up the FBI chain. According to the inspector general’s report, Gaeta heard from a colleague that high-level officials were already “aware of the reports’ existence,” including at the “Executive Assistant Director (EAD) level” at FBI headquarters in Washington. This occurred, Gaeta told Congress, “on maybe the 1st of August, right around then,” or “either the 31st of July.”

“I was told by the [assistant special agent in charge] at a very high level, he goes at the EAD level at headquarters they have the reports,” Gaeta said. According to the IG report, Gaeta emailed an FBI supervisor on July 28 to report that Steele had told him that contents of two of his reports “may already be circulating at a ‘high level’ in Washington, D.C.”

Gaeta also discussed the Steele dossier claims with the legal attaché overseeing his work at the U.S. Embassy in Rome. The unidentified government lawyer told the inspector general that he signed off on Gaeta’s discussions with the New York field office, and also recalled having the “expectation” that “Steele’s reporting” would be provided “to the Counterintelligence Division (CD) at FBI Headquarters within a matter of days.”

Before making the trip to see Steele in London, Gaeta also received the approval of Victoria Nuland, a senior Obama administration State Department official who now serves under President Biden. By her own telling, Nuland’s office then received information directly from Steele “in the middle of July.” Steele, Nuland recalled in a 2018 interview, “passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI.”

Yet another senior U.S. government official also shared Steele’s information with the FBI. It helped that he had a personal connection: Then-senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie worked alongside Steele at Fusion GPS, first made contact with Steele right before the former British spy’s meeting with Gaeta on July 5, and then shortly after. This led to a July 30 breakfast between the Ohrs and Steele at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. – one day before Crossfire Hurricane began. At this sit-down, Ohr recalled to Congress, Steele claimed that he had evidence that Russian intelligence “had Donald Trump over a barrel.”

According to Ohr, “I wanted to provide the information he [Steele] had given me to the FBI.” He immediately reached out to Andrew McCabe, the then-deputy director of the FBI. “I went to his office to provide the information, and Lisa Page was there,” Ohr recalled, referring to the FBI attorney who exchanged anti-Trump text messages with Strzok while both worked on the Trump-Russia probe. “So I provided the information to them.”

When exactly this pivotal meeting occurred has never been resolved, and all involved have a fuzzy recollection. The transcript of Ohr’s August 2018 House testimony shows him responding “Yes” to a question placing his meeting with McCabe and Page on July 30 – the same day he met Steele, and one day before the Trump-Russia probe officially began. Yet earlier in the deposition, Ohr guessed that he in fact met with McCabe and Page “in August.” When he spoke to the DOJ inspector general, Ohr “did not recall exactly when he contacted McCabe.”

Despite that testimony, Horowitz instead relied on an entry in Ohr’s calendar to determine the meeting did not take place until Oct. 18. McCabe, who was forced to resign from the department for lying about his contacts with the media, said he believes the meeting occurred in “fall 2016” and “did not remember Ohr calling him to set up the meeting or how it came to be scheduled.”

‘Suggested … Some Kind of Suggestion’

According to the official narrative, while top-ranking FBI officials shared and discussed the Steele dossier with everyone but Crossfire Hurricane team members, the counterintelligence division decided to investigate the Trump’s campaign’s potential ties to Russia on July 31 based on an unrelated tip from Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat. At a London bar in May, campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos reportedly told Downer that Russia had offered to help the Trump campaign by anonymously releasing information damaging to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Although there was no evidence that the Trump campaign had pursued, received, or used this undefined material, FBI officials deemed this rumor sufficient grounds to investigate the campaign for potential involvement in Russia’s alleged theft of DNC emails published by Wikileaks.

“In other words,” Peter Strzok, the senior FBI counterintelligence agent who opened the Trump-Russia probe, wrote in his memoir, “Papadopoulos had somehow learned about the hacking operation before the public did and had advance knowledge of the Russian plan to use that information to hurt Clinton’s campaign. Even the FBI hadn’t known about it at that time.”

But when the Australian tip that reached the FBI in July 2016 was finally disclosed to the public in December 2019, Papadopoulos’ supposed “advance knowledge” about Russia’s alleged “hacking operation” turned out to be non-existent. The FBI’s tip from Downer contained no mention of the DNC hacking, a Russian interference campaign, or even the stolen emails handed to WikiLeaks. Nor did they even have any trace to suggest that a Russian intermediary had made an overture.

Instead, according to the FBI Electronic Communication (EC) that opened the Trump-Russia probe, the FBI only heard that Papadopoulos, in his conversation with Downer, “suggested” that “the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia” (emphasis added) that it could “assist” the Trump campaign “with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama).”

The FBI document acknowledged that the nature of the “suggestion” was “unclear” and that the possible Russian help could entail “material acquired publicly” – in other words, not emails hacked from the DNC, which, as Horowitz noted, were “not mentioned in the EC.” The FBI also acknowledged that it had no evidence concerning the Trump camp’s receptivity to the “suggested… suggestion”: It was “unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer,” the EC stated, and that Russia could act “with or without Mr. Trump’s cooperation.” Although Papadopoulos’ October 2017 guilty plea with the Mueller team suggested that he had told Downer about “thousands of emails” obtained by Russia, Downer later stated that the Trump campaign volunteer had made no mention of any stolen emails, and fact “didn’t say what it was” that Russia had on offer.

In other words, what Strzok wrote in his own book was untrue.

Because Downer’s tip was so thin, the FBI’s predicate was not only vague or even exculpatory, but also contained no indication that the “some kind of suggestion” actually came from the Russian government, or a Russian national, or anyone for that matter. When it opened the probe, the FBI did not even know that that the purported “suggestion” to Papadopoulos came from his conversation with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic. For his part, Mifsud has denied making any “suggestion” of Russian help to Papadopoulos at all.

To accept that the FBI’s decision to open the Trump-Russia investigation was well-founded, one has to stipulate that the nation’s premier law enforcement agency decided to investigate a presidential campaign, and then a president, based on a low-level volunteer having “suggested”, during a barroom chat, “some kind of suggestion from Russia” that contained no mention of the alleged Russian hacking or stolen emails that the Trump campaign was supposedly conspiring over. One would also have to accept that the bureau was not influenced by the far more detailed claims of direct Trump-Russia connections – an alleged conspiracy that would form the heart of the investigation – advanced in the widely-circulating Steele dossier.

‘An Insufficient Basis’ for the Probe’s Supposed Predicate

Adding to the questions surrounding the FBI’s basis for opening a Trump-Russia counterintelligence probe is that, upon doing so, the Crossfire Hurricane team didn’t bother to contact the campaign volunteer whose vague “suggestion” supposedly triggered it. Instead, the FBI expanded the probe to multiple other figures in the Trump orbit. Although no intelligence connected them to Downer’s vague tip, all three shared the distinction of being named as Russia conspirators or assets in the Steele dossier.

Rather than just focusing on Papadopoulos – who was never wiretapped and not even interviewed until January of 2017 – the FBI quickly opened parallel probes of campaign volunteer Carter Page, campaign adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, and then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. According to Horowitz, Strzok described “the initial investigative objective of Crossfire Hurricane” as an effort “to determine which individuals associated with the Trump campaign may have been in a position to have received the alleged offer of assistance from Russia” (emphasis added) that Papadopoulos had “suggested.”

The FBI identified Page, Flynn, and Manafort as additional investigative targets, the IG found, not based on any new intelligence but because they had “ties to Russia or a history of travel to Russia.” They relied on a rarely used law – the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires Americans representing foreign governments to disclose these relationships – as the basis for their inquiries.

“Lacking any evidence — and admitting such in their own opening document — the team, nevertheless, proceeded to simply speculate who ‘may have’ accepted the Russian offer and subsequently opened up full investigations on four Americans,” Kevin Brock, the former FBI assistant director for intelligence and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), opined in Congressional testimony in 2020. “This is unconscionable and a direct abuse of FBI authorities.”

When it comes to Papadopoulos, the FBI “initially considered seeking FISA surveillance of Papadopoulos” but quickly determined that it had “an insufficient basis” to do so, Horowitz found. But if the FBI felt that it had “an insufficient basis” to spy on Papadopoulos, how could the FBI deem him to be a sufficient basis for investigating and spying on members of the campaign that he worked for?

On Steele, a Pattern of FBI ‘Factual Misstatements and Omissions’

Although Horowitz took the FBI at its word that Steele played no role in triggering Crossfire Hurricane, he did so after documenting multiple instances of FBI lies – including about Steele’s role in the probe.

When the FBI used the Steele dossier to seek surveillance warrants on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, the bureau made 17 “factual misstatements and omissions” to the FISA court, Inspector General Horowitz found in his December 2019 report.

These abuses included embellishing Steele’s established reliability as an FBI source; omitting information that undermined the credibility of Steele’s main source, Igor Danchenko, and the fanciful claims he told Steele about prostitutes and billion dollar bribes; concealing that Steele was a source for a Yahoo News article that the FBI also cited as source material; omitting that both Page and Papadopoulos had made exonerating statements to FBI informants; and, most notably, omitting that the Clinton campaign was paying for Steele’s services. The FISA court concurred with Horowitz, invalidating two of the four Page surveillance warrants on the basis of the FBI’s “material misstatements.”

When the FBI briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee on its use of the Steele dossier in 2018, it told similar falsehoods while presenting the Clinton contractor as credible. According to the FBI’s prepared talking points, the Senate was erroneously told that Steele’s main source Danchenko “did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier.” Danchenko, the FBI additionally claimed, also “maintains trusted relationships with individuals who are capable of reporting on the material he collected for Steele.” The FBI also said that its discussions with Danchenko “confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele.”

But the FBI concealed – just as it did with the FISA court – that Danchenko had in fact told its agents that corroboration for the dossier’s claim was “zero”; that he “has no idea” where claims sourced to him came from; and that the Russia-Trump rumors he passed along to Steele came from “word of mouth and hearsay” and “conversation that [he] had with friends over beers” that should be taken with “a grain of salt.”

When the FBI’s deceptive reliance on Steele was brought to light in a memo from then-House intelligence chairman Rep. Devin Nunes in early 2018, the FBI fought to prevent its release. Moreover, the FBI resorted to more deception: In an explosive Jan. 31 statement aimed at thwarting the Nunes memo’s release, the FBI claimed that it had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

The FBI’s tactic failed, and the memo was released two days later. When the first of the FBI’s Carter Page warrants was declassified in July 2018, it showed that the only material omissions of fact were made by the FBI. The FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it “believes that [Russia’s] efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” the Trump campaign. Its source for this belief was Steele, whom it described as “Source #1” and “credible” – all while omitting that the Clinton campaign was footing the bill.

In addition, unidentified intelligence and law enforcement officials went out of their way to bolster Steele’s image via anonymous leaks to credulous news outlets. “U.S. investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier,” a CNN headline proclaimed in February 2017, weeks after the dossier’s publication. The FBI is “continuing to chase down stuff from the dossier, and, at its core, a lot of it is bearing out,” an unidentified “intelligence official” told The New Yorker later that month.

The FBI’s faith in Steele extended to sharing classified information with him. According to Horowitz, at an October 2016 meeting in Rome, FBI agents gave Steele a “general overview” of Crossfire Hurricane, including its then-secret probes of Manafort, Page, Flynn, and Papadopoulos. The FBI was so eager to enlist Steele that it offered to pay him $15,000 “just for attending” the Rome meeting and a “significantly” greater amount if he could collect more information.

This early FBI enthusiasm for Steele – and lengthy record of lying about it — is hard to square with the bureau’s subsequent claims that he only played a minor role.

Durham’s Dissent Could Become a Political Flashpoint

Despite uncovering FBI deceptions, Horowitz acknowledged that he was relying largely on the word of the officials he was investigating. “We did not find information in FBI or Department ECs [Electronic Communications], emails, or other documents, or through witness testimony, indicating that any information other than the [Friendly Foreign Government] information” – Australia’s tip from Downer — “was relied upon to predicate the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” his report states.

As his dissenting statement made clear, Durham is not limited to one department nor to its employees’ voluntary testimony.

Durham’s grand juries have already yielded indictments of two Clinton campaign-tied operatives for deceptive attempts to influence the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe. That Horowitz has already uncovered so many inconsistencies in the FBI’s account – and that Durham has gone out of his way to question the FBI predication that Horowitz accepted – suggests that the Steele dossier and the Alfa Bank “secret hotline” story are far from the only fraudulent Trump-Russia activity in Durham’s sights.

If Durham does unearth additional evidence that the FBI did not launch the Trump-Russia probe in the way that it claims, then that would be yet another devastating revelation for a bureau that has already been caught relying on Clinton-funded disinformation and lying about it. Given how hard the FBI and Democratic Party allies have fought to shield this conduct from scrutiny, Durham’s probe could become a major political flashpoint as his probe reaches its final months and hones in on its final targets.

This RealClearInvestigations article was republished by The Gateway Pundit with permission and then subsequently appropriated by the Underground Newswire without permission.

Mueller Team ‘Accidentally’ Wiped at LEAST 15 Phones Before DOJ Could Examine

NOTE: These are highly trained, highly educated, highly qualified, highly competent, and highly ethical people, one and all – the best of the best, the brightest and most honorable people in government service.

Claiming to be morons…

Sam J. 
September 10, 2020

There’s nothing shady about Team Mueller wiping at least 15 phones (other reports say it was 27!) before the Department of Justice could examine them.

Seems Team Mueller has a cellphone problem.

What are the actual probabilities of more than a dozen top Mueller officials all “accidentally” nuking their phones or accidentally putting them in airplane mode, locking them, and “forgetting” their passwords so the DOJ OIG couldn’t access and examine them?

Cellphones, wiping themselves…
Is it possible that they could be hiding something??

Documents Show Former Officials ‘In Real Trouble’ in Durham Investigation: Meadows

ZACHARY STIEBER 
September 8, 2020

Newly reviewed documents show that former FBI agent Peter Strzok and other officials involved in the counter-intelligence probe against Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign are in trouble, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said.

U.S. Attorney John Durham is reviewing the origins of that investigation and landed his first guilty plea last month.

While he doesn’t have visibility into the timeline of Durham’s probe, Meadows said he’s reviewed additional documents that “say that a number of the players, the Peter Strzoks, the Andy McCabes, the James Comeys—and even others in the administration previously—are in real trouble because of their willingness to participate in an unlawful act.”

“And I use the word unlawful at best, it broke all kinds of protocols and at worst people should go to jail as I mentioned previously,” Meadows said during a virtual appearance on Fox Business’ “Mornings With Maria” on Monday.

Strzok, McCabe, and Comey are former high-level FBI officials.

Strzok, best known for exchanging biased text messages about Trump with an FBI lawyer he was having an affair with, was fired by FBI officials in 2018.

Epoch Times Photo
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington on Aug. 28, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The former agent sat down for an interview with CBS that ran over the weekend. He insisted that the counter-intelligence probe, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, was opened on a legitimate basis.

Meadows said it was easy for Strzok to make claims when not under oath.

“In all of his interview, I can tell you this: It’s not backed up by the facts. It’s not backed up by documents that I’ve seen. And ultimately his house of cards will come falling down,” Meadows said.

The facts that have come out show that officials treated Trump “very differently, in an inappropriate way, and they must be held accountable,” he added.

Durham’s criminal investigation is being kept under tight wraps, prompting much speculation about when another development will come, or even if any other people will be charged.

Epoch Times Photo
United States Attorney John Durham (L) (Department of Justice) and Attorney General William Barr. (R) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Trey Gowdy, a Fox News contributor who used to serve in the House of Representatives, said over the weekend that there’s concern that Durham “is dragging his feet.”

Durham, he said, “is going to access documents that the FBI never shared with Congress and he’ll write the definitive accounting of what happened.”

“Whether or not there’ll be more indictments or not, I don’t know and I like to assume that there will not be,” he said, adding: “That puts me in a small minority, but I’m assuming that the Clinesmith indictment will be the only one.”

Kevin Clinesmith recently pleaded guilty to altering an email to say Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, was not a CIA asset when the CIA had said the exact opposite.

The altered email was used to obtain spy warrants against Page, enabling the FBI to conduct surveillance against Page and people he was linked to in the future and past.

Meadows, meanwhile, said Trump supports the declassification of all documents, along with full transparency.

“He has nothing to hide,” he said.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said last week that he’s coordinating with Durham to declassify more documents.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Fusion GPS Head Bragged About Planting False Attacks Against Nunes

 Matthew Boyle,
August, 28th, 2020

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was the target of opposition research hits that a local newspaper, owned by a broader national chain, dutifully reprinted on behalf of Fusion GPS without disclosing to its readers the questionable source of the information.

The Fresno Bee published a story in the leadup to the 2018 midterm elections, in late May 2018, that claimed in its salacious headline that Nunes was associated with cocaine and prostitutes at a yacht party. “A yacht, cocaine, prostitutes: Winery partly owned by Nunes sued after fundraiser event,” read the headline from Fresno Bee reporter MacKenzie Mays on the May 23, 2018, article.

The article itself, however, does not back up the headline. What happened was that a winery that Nunes has a minority ownership stake in—meaning he has no management decision-making authority, just a minority stake in the firm—held a charity auction for a yacht ride. On the yacht ride, the winners allegedly, per a lawsuit from a winery staffer at the event, had been doing lots of cocaine and had prostitutes on board who engaged in nefarious acts. While that sounds like an awful experience for the staffer who endured it—the lawsuit was settled out of court—the idea this had anything at all to do with Nunes is simply untrue.

Kelly Carter, the spokesperson for the winery named Alpha Omega, made that clear in a statement to the newspaper. Rep. Devin Nunes is one of a few friends [Alpha Omega owner Robin Baggett] invited to invest in the winery in 2005. None of the investors has ever been involved with the management of the company. Robin is the sole managing partner and ultimate decision maker at Alpha Omega,” Carter said.

While Nunes did not comment for the original story, he did later run a series of advertisements against the newspaper over the salacious article for conduct to which he had no connection—pretty aggressive for a sitting member of Congress to challenge his local newspaper in broadcast advertisements.

Nunes says in one of the 2018 ads:

Like you, I live in the San Joaquin Valley. My family lives here, my daughters go to public schools here, and I spend most of my time here when I’m not in Washington or visiting United States military and intelligence personnel abroad. Sadly, since the last election, the Fresno Bee has worked closely with radical left wing groups to promote fake news stories about me. Now, I signed up for this job and I find the attacks amusing. I haven’t said much about the Bee’s strange crusade against me even when reporters went creeping around my neighbors’ and relatives’ homes. But the Bee has run multiple articles slandering a California Agri-Business simply because I’m one of its investors. It’s time to set the record straight. For many years, the owner of Alpha Omega, a small, family-owned winery and vineyard, has donated the use of its boat to charities for underprivileged kids. In 2015, one of the purchasers of this auction item abused the use of the boat. The Bee has run numerous false stories about this incident.

Nunes then says in the 2018 ad that listeners can “hear the real story” in a statement provided by the winery for broadcast. In that statement, a spokesperson for Alpha Omega says that the Fresno Bee “cited false information stating the people aboard the boat were Alpha Omega investors.”

The winery spokesperson statement continues:

In fact, as we informed the Bee, those aboard the boat had no personal or business connection to the winery or its owners.  Furthermore, a Bee editorial claimed it’s unclear if Mr. Nunes was affiliated with the fundraiser for the boat when in fact we repeatedly told the Bee he had no affiliation with it whatsoever. The Fresno Bee also falsely reported that Alpha Omega sold wine to Russia while Mr. Nunes led an investigation of that country. We would appreciate it if the Fresno Bee would stop regurgitating false stories when it has the facts.

Nunes concluded in the ad that he does not mind the criticism of him, but the paper’s attacks on local businesses are a bridge too far:

The Bee’s band of creeping correspondents can go after me but for them to drag a family company through the mud and hurt innocent people’s livelihoods to advance their political agenda is wrong. The Fresno Bee and its parent company — McClatchy — should apologize to Alpha Omega, retract their false news stories and stop embarrassing the San Joaquin Valley.

The ads prompted the Fresno Bee’s editorial board to write a lengthy piece claiming Nunes’s claims in them were “fake news.”

In the editorial, the Bee’s first claim from Nunes that it took issue with was him saying in the ad that the newspaper “has worked closely with radical left wing groups to promote fake news stories about me.”

In response, the Bee claimed this was untrue. The newspaper’s editorial board wrote:

The Bee has never done any such thing. Does Nunes identify those groups he refers to? No. And he can’t, because such a thing never happened. The Bee’s newsroom follows time-honored ethical standards of journalism, and did for this story. One of the tenets is to let all subjects in a story have their say. But since Nunes refused to be interviewed for this story, his side could not be reported. He made it one-sided by his own choosing. By not talking to The Bee, then claiming the story to be “fake news,” Nunes reveals his strategy for dealing with Bee journalists. He also loves to combine the words ‘radical’ and ‘left wing’ to make a point to his conservative base.

The newspaper published this editorial in mid-June 2018, before evidence later emerged in November 2019 that proved Nunes correct—and the Bee incorrect.

Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the now-debunked hoax of Russia collusion—which Nunes played a critical role in unraveling—was apparently behind the hit against Nunes, its leaders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch wrote in their book Crime in Progress. Simpson and Fritsch wrote:

In the end, Fusion found an obscure bit of litigation that lit up the race. In May, weeks after that discovery, Nunes’s ownership stake in the Napa winery Alpha Omega became national news when The Fresno Bee reported on a lawsuit filed in California state court by a young woman who had worked serving wine at a 2015 tasting event aboard the winery’s sixty-two-foot yacht.

In other words, the Fusion GPS leaders Simpson and Fritsch admit—or perhaps, more accurately, brag—in their book about being the ones who dug this up and got the newspaper to run the story.

Simpson and Fusion GPS were of course the ones behind the now discredited anti-Trump Christopher Steele dossier that led to the Russia hoax investigation. But when that was unraveling, according to Simpson’s and Fritsch’s book, they were engaged in a smear campaign against the leading Republican in Congress who was unpacking the entire scandal—and getting his local newspaper and the newspaper chain that owns it, McClatchy, to smear him in any way they could.

Nunes’s role in unraveling Simpson’s work to spark the now-debunked Russia scandal against Trump is featured in an upcoming film by Amanda Milius, the daughter of legendary screenwriter and director John Milius, titled The Plot Against the President. The documentary is a film version of Lee Smith’s bestselling book with the same title.

But the fact that Fusion GPS went to such lengths to try to politically destroy Nunes—and the fact that McClatchy newspapers and the Fresno Bee went along with it—are particularly interesting. Fresno Bee editor Joe Kieta did not reply to Breitbart News’s request for comment about Fusion GPS’s leadership bragging about planting the anti-Nunes hit in his newspaper—something that proves Nunes’s 2018 ad against the paper correct, and the newspaper’s 2018 editorial supposedly rebutting the ad incorrect.

What’s even more interesting about this is that the yacht, winery, cocaine, and prostitutes fake news hit is not the only hit piece that McClatchy’s newspapers published on Nunes that Fusion GPS is taking credit for. From McClatchy’s D.C. bureau, reporter Kate Irby bylined two pieces—both in July 2018—that claimed respectively Nunes misused campaign funds for Boston Celtics tickets and a Vegas trip, and for private jet charters. It turns out, according to Simpson’s and Fritsch’s book, both came from Fusion GPS.

They wrote in the book regarding the Vegas and Boston trips that “Fusion discovered” the information that would find its way into the McClatchy report, and regarding the private plane report that “Fusion found” the information that would find its way into that followup story. Unsurprisingly, like much of Fusion GPS’s work, neither of these stories has progressed beyond the original McClatchy article–suggesting that the supposed allegations of impropriety against Nunes from 2018 did not rise to the level of something serious enough for any actual action against him. In other words, they were nothing more than another political smear.

Fusion ordinarily didn’t work on congressional races, but as the [2018] election drew closer, the firm began to mull a few ways it could have an impact. Later, it would decide to design and launch a more systematic cyber-monitoring campaign, but first it went small, focusing on a single congressional district in California’s heavily agricultural Central Valley. That solidly red seat happened to have been occupied since 2003 by one Devin Nunes.

McClatchy actually had a very close working relationship with Fusion GPS, far beyond its hits on Nunes. The newspaper chain admitted in a July 2017 article that it had obtained the now-infamous and demonstrably false dossier before it was publicly released by BuzzFeed. As far back as January 2017, McClatchy was pushing content from the dossier in the immediate aftermath of its release. Fusion GPS also pushed a false story—that McClatchy published—alleging that conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell was aware of a secret Russian plot to launder money to the Trump campaign through the NRA. McClatchy even falsely reported that ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was in Prague, according to cell phone records, and claimed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had proof of that, even though Mueller’s final report debunked it.

Nunes is currently waging a number of different lawsuits against various establishment media outlets, including McClatchy, as well as against Fusion GPS.

Durham Inquiry into Spying on Trump Campaign Could Drop Bombshells by End of Summer

 Isabelle Z.
August 10th, 2020

There has been a lot of speculation that U.S. Attorney John Durham will hold off on releasing the results of his investigation into spying on the Trump campaign until after the election to avoid accusations of political interference. However, sources who have worked with Durham on public corruption cases in the past have said they doubt he will yield to political pressure, with some believing he may even drop a few bombshells before Labor Day.

This is supported by the words of Attorney General William Barr, who refused to rule out the possibility of a pre-election release of information. Citing a long-standing policy by the Justice Department not to announce any new developments in politically sensitive cases prior to an election, Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) asked Barr if he would commit to not releasing any reports by Durham ahead of the election. In response, he simply stated, “No.”

Because that policy bars prosecutors from taking big steps in this type of case within 60 days of an election, Durham has until the Friday before Labor Day to make a move outside of this window. So far, Durham has been pretty quiet about his investigation into the Russiagate investigation of President Trump and his 2016 campaign. This has prompted lots of speculation regarding who could be prosecuted and when action might be taken.

Because the probe involves the Trump administration as well as high-level officials from the previous administration, including former Vice President Joe Biden, the consequences of the investigation could be significant. Notes that were recently declassified by the FBI show that Biden provided input in the investigation of Trump adviser Michael Flynn.

At the center of the case is government spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election and whether or not that surveillance was justified or was simply done to smear Trump’s campaign and, later, his presidency. Durham’s investigation is also looking into the potential role of the CIA and whether it monitored Trump advisers overseas or broke laws restricting spying on American citizens.

Should Durham release a report that indicates widespread corruption or seek a criminal indictment or plea agreements involving former officials from the Obama-Biden administration, it could turn voters away from Biden. If the news is postponed until after the election, on the other hand, it could dishearten Trump’s base.

Former assistant FBI Director Chris Swecker, who has worked with Durham on past investigations, said: “I would find it hard to believe that he punts under any circumstances.”

He added that delaying the work until after the election might risk throwing away 16 months’ worth of investigations. Should Biden be elected, Durham’s work would essentially be canceled out as the new president would likely replace Barr and Durham. However, if the reports and potential indictments are made public ahead of the election, a potential Biden administration would be in the position where they have to take further action or close the probe down and make themselves look even more corrupt.

“John knows this, and I fully expect he will take action before the election,” Swecker said.

Criminal charges could be forthcoming

He also believes that any action taken by Durham will extend beyond a report. In fact, he is expecting criminal charges to be announced. He said that Durham is not “squeamish” when it comes to bringing indictments and thinks the case would have been closed by now had crimes not been uncovered. He also pointed to a lack of media leaks from Durham’s office as more evidence that a serious corruption case is in the works.

The Attorney General has said that Obama and Biden are not targets in the case, but some experts believe that former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith may be one focus of the investigation for his role in doctoring an email used to gain surveillance approval for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. A leak of sensitive information to a columnist from the Washington Post about conversations involving Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador may also be an area of interest in the investigation.

Trump told Fox Business that he heard the information Durham has uncovered in the investigation is “breathtaking” and will show he was maliciously targeted by the Obama administration.

Democrats appear to be quite worried about this investigation, and Barr’s recent refusal to commit to not releasing Durham’s report ahead of the election indicates that we could well get some answers within the next few weeks.

SPYGATE: First Criminal Charge by Durham Casts Shadow Over Mueller Probe

IVAN PENTCHOUKOV 
August 18, 2020

U.S. Attorney John Durham filed the first charge of his criminal inquiry on Aug. 14 against the primary FBI attorney assigned to provide legal support to the special counsel team led by Robert Mueller, casting a shadow over the 22-month probe that roiled the nation before finding no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

As part of a potential plea deal with Durham, former FBI assistant general counsel Kevin Clinesmith is expected to plead guilty on Aug. 19 to altering an email as part of a process to obtain a secret court warrant used to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Clinesmith altered the email on June 19, 2017, while working as the primary FBI attorney assigned to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, which Mueller inherited a month earlier.

According to the court documents, Clinesmith inserted the words “and not a source” into an email from a CIA liaison that described Page’s relationship with the agency. As the primary FBI attorney on the case, Clinesmith was asked to find out if Page was a source for the CIA before the FBI applied for the fourth and final warrant to continue surveilling the former Trump campaign associate.

The liaison replied with a memo showing that Page was an approved “operational contact” for the agency, a crucial fact that never made it into the spy warrant application the FBI sent to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. According to the CIA memo, Page reported to the agency about his contacts with Russian intelligence officers, a fact which would have been indispensable to a judge considering the FBI’s attestation that Page is a Russian agent.

The Department of Justice inspector general flagged Clinesmith’s forgery as one of the most egregious faults among the 17 serious errors and omissions contained in the applications the FBI used to surveil Page. While the inspector general’s reports and other evidence in the public realm have already substantially clouded the credibility of the Mueller probe, Durham’s first case and the expected guilty plea taint the battery of blunders with the first indisputable link to criminality.

The charge also raises serious questions about the culture within the broader special counsel operation, during which Clinesmith played a key role for roughly a year before being removed upon the discovery of his blatantly anti-Trump text messages.

“I am so stressed about what I could have done differently,” Clinesmith wrote to his FBI colleague Sally Moyer on the day after Trump’s victory in November 2016. “I’m just devastated.”

“Plus, my [expletive] name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” he wrote a few messages later.

Clinesmith wasn’t the only FBI official to have been removed from Mueller’s team over biased text messages. FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ridiculed Trump, spoke of stopping him from winning the election, and mentioned an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely” event he won. The pair, who at the time were involved an extramarital affair, broached the subject of impeachment around the time Mueller was assigned to lead the inquiry. Mueller removed Strzok upon learning of the messages. Page had left on her own prior to the discovery.

The inspector general didn’t find evidence that bias motivated any of the investigative actions. He also told Congress that he was baffled by the sheer number of serious errors committed by three handpicked teams working on the FBI’s most sensitive case.

While it is unclear what Durham will make public next and when, the court papers in Clinesmith’s case provide a hint. The charge against the former FBI attorney was filed as information rather than an indictment, indicating that Clinesmith agreed to waive his right to have a grand jury decide whether the government has probable cause to charge a crime. The waiver of indictment is often used with a defendant who agreed to plead guilty under a cooperation agreement. The terms of the plea may reveal whether Clinesmith is cooperating with the investigation.

The charging document also states that the CIA provided the memo about Page to “certain members of the Crossfire Hurricane team” on Aug. 17, 2016, months before Clinesmith was assigned as the primary FBI attorney on the case. The “certain members” received the memo days after opening individual cases on four Trump campaign associates, including Page. All four of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications failed to disclose Page’s status and history with the CIA.

When the DOJ inspector general asked Clinesmith why he subsequently described Page as “not a source” for the CIA, Clinesmith said that he recalled the liaison “saying that [Page] was not a source of theirs,” but rather “incidentally reporting information via a source of theirs.” When the inspector general asked the CIA liaison about it, the liaison said “her email stated just the opposite.”

Justin Shur, a lawyer for Clinesmith, said in a statement to Reuters that his client “deeply regrets having altered the email.”

“It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate. But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility,” Shur said.

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes told Fox Business in June that the Republicans on the committee have sent 14 criminal referrals related to Crossfire Hurricane.

President Donald Trump, who has long asserted that the Obama administration spied on his campaign, told reporters at the White House on Aug. 14 the charge against Clinesmith is “just the beginning, I would imagine, because what happened should never happen again.”

“The fact is, they spied on my campaign and they got caught, and you’ll be hearing more,” Trump said.

The plethora of errors in the Page FISA applications appear to be an anomaly. Horowitz’s subsequent review of a sample of 29 other FISA applications found less than a handful of errors, none of which were significant enough to invalidate any of the applications. By contrast, the FBI conceded that the errors in the Page FISAs invalidated the last two warrants.

Clinesmith’s tenure at the FBI ended on Sept. 21, 2019, according to the criminal information. The bureau told The Epoch Times that Clinesmith left before “an internal disciplinary process was completed.”

In addition to working as the attorney on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Clinesmith worked on the probe of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server to conduct government business during her tenure as secretary of state. His work on that investigation earned him an entire section in a separate inspector general report, which found that he sent numerous politically charged messages ridiculing then-candidate Trump.

External reviews of the conduct of the Mueller investigation aren’t the only sources casting shadows on the legacy of the probe.

Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham in May 2019 to examine the conduct of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and related issues. Durham is looking to determine whether intelligence collection on Trump’s presidential campaign by top Obama administration officials was “lawful and appropriate.” The investigation was designated a formal criminal investigation in October 2019.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) in March dropped the charges brought by Mueller against two Russian companies accused of using social media to sow discord during the 2016 election. The charges were once heralded as one part of Russia’s two-prong operation to influence the election.

The second prong of the purported campaign consists of charges against a dozen Russian intelligence officers that remain alleged. In May, the DOJ moved to drop charges brought by Mueller against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.