Tag Archives: law

Techno Fog: Notable Disclosures From Michael Sussmann’s Evidentiary Hearing

Cristina Laila
April 29, 2022

By Techno Fog on SubStack:

Yesterday, April 27, there was a pre-trial hearing in the Michael Sussmann case relating to various evidentiary issues. For the uninitiated, Sussmann a former Perkins Coie partner, and former attorney for the DNC/Clinton Campaign (and Rodney Joffe), has been charged by Special Counsel John Durham with providing false statements to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in the fall of 2016. Here is more background on his indictment.

We have the full transcript of yesterday’s hearing (link at the bottom). Here are some of the most notable disclosures:

The Special Counsel’s “ongoing investigation” into Rodney Joffe. The Special Counseltold the court that while Joffe and Sussmann pushed the Alfa Bank/Yotaphone hoax to the CIA in February 2017, this false information was also pushed “to another branch of government, to the legislative branch” at a later time. According to the Special Counsel:

TRENDING: Confirmed: Liz Cheney’s J6 Committee Is Now Holding Onto Evidence that FBI Was Running Operatives During the Jan. 6 Protests — WILL THEY LIE ABOUT THIS TOO?

The Special Counsel’s statement reminds us of this letter we discussed from Rodney Joffe’s attorney to the attorneys for Michael Sussmann, stating the Yota phone-related allegations percolated “through various branches of the government and around the private sector after that date, in various forms.”

Rodney Joffe’s exposure and 18 U.S.C. 1031. The Special Counsel was understandably hesitant to get too deep into what they have on Rodney Joffe. However, when Sussmann’s attorneys brought up the fact that Joffe couldn’t be charged due to the 5-year statute of limitations, the Special Counsel responded that “certain statutes of limitations are longer than five years.”

The court asked for an example, and the Special Counsel referenced 18 U.S.C. 1031, “which involves defrauding the government in connection with procurement and contract matters.” This has to do with the Georgia Tech/DARPA contract. In the Special Counsel’s own words:

Laura Seago from Fusion GPS will (likely) testify at trial. We previously reported that Seago was identified as the “tech maven” the government expected to call at trial. At this hearing was the first time we saw Seago’s name explicitly mentioned as the Fusion GPS witness.

Christopher Steele will not be a witness. Sussmann’s lawyer informed the court that the Special Counsel stated on April 26 that Steele is “out of the country and isn’t likely to be a witness.”

In fact, Steele is not cooperating with the Special Counsel.

We’re limited on time today – here is the link to the transcript.

Click here to read Techno Fog’s full report on the transcript of Sussmann’s evidentiary hearing

FBI Conducted Millions of Searches of Americans’ Electronic Data in 2021 without a Warrant

Cristina Laila
Published April 29, 2022

The FBI conducted millions of searches of Americans’ electronic data in 2021 without a warrant, according to a new report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The FBI claims it conducted the searches as they sought to curb cyberattacks.

“In the first half of the year, there were a number of large batch queries related to attempts to compromise U.S. critical infrastructure by foreign cyber actors,” according to the report, Bloomberg reported. “These queries, which included approximately 1.9 million query terms related to potential victims — including U.S. persons — accounted for the vast majority of the increase in U.S. person queries conducted by FBI over the prior year.”

The ACLU called the FBI’s warrantless spying an invasion of privacy ‘on an enormous scale.’

Bloomberg reported:

The FBI searched emails, texts and other electronic communications of as many as 3.4 million U.S. residents without a warrant over a year, the nation’s top spy chief said in a report.

The “queries” were made between December 2020 and November 2021 by Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel as they looked for signs of threats and terrorists within electronic data legally collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to an annual transparency report issued Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The authority the FBI used in this case was under Section 702 of FISA, which is set to expire at the end of next year unless it’s renewed by Congress.

The report doesn’t say the activity was illegal or even wrong. But the revelation could renew congressional and public debates over the power U.S. agencies have to collect and review intelligence information, especially data concerning individuals. In comparison, fewer than 1.3 million queries involving Americans’ data were conducted between December 2019 and November 2020, according to the 38-page report.

The report sought to provide a justification for the increase in queries during the last year.

Federal Judge Denies Hillary Clinton Lawyer Michael Sussmann’s Motion to Dismiss Durham Case – Trial Begins May 16

Cristina Laila
April 13, 2022

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann’s motion to dismiss Durham’s case was denied by a federal judge on Wednesday.

Sussmann was indicted last September for lying to the FBI.

According to the indictment, Sussmann falsely told James Baker he wasn’t doing work “for any client” when he asked for a meeting with the FBI where he presented bogus evidence the Trump Tower was secretly communicating with Kremlin-tied Alfa Bank.

The attorneys for Michael Sussmann in February requested the courts dismiss Durham’s case against him.

Sussmann’s lawyers absurdly argued that his false statement to the feds is protected under the First Amendment and made no impact on the FBI’s probe.

Durham blasted Sussmann in a new filing last month and revealed Hillary’s lawyer actually alleged Trump and his associates were using Russian-made phones in the vicinity of the White House.

US District Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee, agreed with John Durham and denied Sussmann’s motion to dismiss.

“Specifically, Sussmann allegedly told Baker that he was not attending the meeting on behalf of any client when, in fact, he had assembled and was conveying the information on behalf of two specific clients: (1) a technology-industry executive named Rodney Joffe and (2) the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign,” Cooper wrote in a 6-page opinion.

“The FBI opened an investigation based on the information Sussmann provided, but ultimately determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the existence of a communication channel between the Trump campaign and the Russian bank. Sussmann has pled not guilty to the charge and denies lying to the FBI,” the judge added.

“The court will deny the motion,” Cooper wrote.

Trial begins May 16.

Joe Biden Should Be Worried Over Latest Demand from Hunter Biden Grand Jury Looking to Identify ‘The Big Guy’: Report

Warner Todd Huston, The Western Journal
April 5, 2022 

The investigation into Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop seems to be swirling ever closer to the president himself as a grand jury begins seeking to identify “the big guy” mentioned in Hunter’s emails.

In October of 2021, the New York Post published excerpts from a book that details the information gleaned from a laptop that Hunter Biden abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware.

The paper went on to report that someone identified as “the Big Guy” expected a 10 percent cut from the deals Hunter made. It was suggested that this “big guy” who expected kickbacks from his son’s shady deals in Ukraine, China and other places where Hunter sold the influence of his father’s name was none other than Joe Biden himself.

The “big guy” claim was made in an email written by Hunter Biden business partner James Gilliar, who had outlined a proposition of payment of equity in a company created for a joint venture with CEFC China Energy Co.

The line in question noted that ten percent would be “held by H for the big guy.”

Now, as a grand jury is looking into Hunter Biden, a witness was asked to identify just who “the big guy” is, according to the New York Post.

The Post went on to hint that the grand jury question came after the information about James Gilliar’s email was introduced during the secret proceedings currently being held in Wilmington, Delaware.

It has also been reported that former Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski alleged that the “big guy” was Joe Biden and any deals made by Biden’s extended family members would commonly include a percentage of the proceeds going to Joe Biden as a kickback.

Joe Biden has repeatedly told the American people that he has no knowledge about Hunter’s business deals, that he never spoke to Hunter about any of them, and that he was not involved in any of Hunter’s deals.

But Bobulinski added, “I have heard Joe Biden say he has never discussed his dealings with Hunter. That is false.”

Bobulinski noted that he knew things were shaky because he was warned not to mention Joe Biden being involved in any of Hunter’s dealings.

News of the documents on the laptop led one George Washington University Law School professor to say that it was clear to him that Joe and Hunter were selling Joe’s influence as vice president.

In July of last year, professor Jonathan Turley bemoaned “the concerted and often embarrassing blackout in the media on stories involving Hunter Biden’s influence peddling during his father’s tenure as Vice President.”

“That includes the burying of the laptop story and the growing contradictions over his father’s denial of any knowledge or involvement in his shady business dealings,” Turley added.

“Even recent reports that Hunter may have paid prostitutes with his father’s account were blacked out by mainstream media which exhaustively pursued any story related to the Trump children and their dealings and life styles,” Turley lamented.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain desperately tried to throw the spotlight off the president, saying that his boss was “confident that his son didn’t break the law” and “confident that his family did the right thing,” according to the Post.

“But, again, I want to just be really clear, these are actions by Hunter and his brother,” Klain told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“They’re private matters. They don’t involve the president. And they certainly are something that no one at the White House is involved in.”

Granted, we do not have definitive evidence that “the big guy” mentioned in the documents on Hunter’s laptop is Joe Biden. But the investigation seems to be swirling closer to the president with every revelation. And clearly, Biden’s representatives are scrambling.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Another Michigan City Decriminalizes Psilocybin Despite Federal Prohibition

By Amanda Bowers

HAZEL PARK, Mich. (April 5, 2022) – Last month, Hazel Park City Council voted to decriminalize psilocybin and other naturally occurring psychedelics, despite federal prohibition on the same. Passage of the resolution takes a first step toward nullifying federal prohibition in practice and effect.

Councilmember Luke Londo sponsored the resolution. Under the new policy directive, enforcement of laws against a wide range of entheogenic substances such as psilocybin and ibogaine will become among the city’s lowest enforcement priorities.

The resolution declares that “it shall be the policy of the City of Hazel Park that the investigation and arrest of persons for planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, engaging in practices with, or possessing Entheogenic Plants or plant compounds which are on the Federal Schedule 1 list shall be the lowest law enforcement priority.”

The resolution further stipulates that “city funds or resources shall not be used in any investigation, detention, arrest, or prosecution arising out of alleged violations of state and federal law regarding the use of Entheogenic Plants.”

“As the resolution states, entheogenic plants improve mental health and wellbeing, and connect people with nature and whatever deity they worship,” Londo said in a press release. “This isn’t speculative. This is the truth, with a whole body of research to back it up.”

Hazel Park is the third city in Michigan to pass a resolution to decriminalize psilocybin and the fourteenth in the nation.

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic compound found in certain mushrooms. A number of studies have shown psilocybin to be effective in the treatment of depression, PTSD, chronic pain and addiction. For instance, a Johns Hopkins study found that “psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer.”

Despite the move to decriminalize psilocybin and other and its promising medical uses, the federal government maintains a total ban on the substance.

LEGALITY

Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains complete prohibition of psilocybin. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate such substances within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.

The city council’s action will effectively end city enforcement of laws prohibiting the possession of psilocybin in Hazel Park. As we’ve seen with marijuana and hemp, when states and localities stop enforcing laws banning a substance, the federal government finds it virtually impossible to maintain prohibition. For instance, FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. By curtailing or ending state prohibition, states sweep part of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.

Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly annual budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution either. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state and local assistance, and the same will likely hold true with psilocybin.

Passage of this resolution in Hazel Park takes another first step toward nullifying psilocybin prohibition in practice and effect.

Source: Tenth Amendment Center

Amanda Bowers is a long-time Jill-of-all-trades with the TAC. She’s worked in outreach, local chapters, research, blogging and more.

Corrupt Andrew Cuomo Sues New York Ethics Committee to Stop Them From Seizing Over $5 Million in Ill-Gotten Gains

100% Fed Up
Apr 2, 2022

Cuomo’s Covid Era-Memoir Allegedly Used State Resources for Production and Promotion

New York’s disgraced Former Governor filed a lawsuit Friday in order to stop the New York Ethics Committee from seizing over $5 million in profits from his Covid-Era memoir, which allegedly used state resources for its production and promotion. These ill gotten gains are only the latest in a line of scandals which the corrupt former governor has been caught up in.

From the Daily Mail:

In the lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Albany, Cuomo accused the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, JCOPE, of violating his constitutional rights and showing ‘extraordinary bias against him.’

In December, JCOPE ordered Cuomo to turn over money from his book ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.’

Cuomo’s camp decried the order and promised a legal fight.

Cuomo’s memoir became the subject of an investigation from the New York attorney general’s office and JCOPE last year over claims he’d used state resources to write it.

While the state of New York works to claim the $5 million manuscript of his memoir, Cuomo has sued them in what is sure to become a tooth and nail legal battle to preserve his ill gotten gains.

Cuomo’s COVID-19 Memoir

On top of allegedly siphoning state money to fund a profitable vanity project, in the recent past he has also been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, and his COVID-19 policies led to the deaths of numerous elderly people in New York nursing homes.

Cuomo’s corruption and penchant for lawsuits are shared by his brother, former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who is seeking $125 million from CNN as well.

Judge Denies Ghislaine Maxwell Request For New Trial

Cristina Laila
April 1, 2022

A federal judge on Friday denied Ghislaine Maxwell’s request for a new trial.

“Judge Alison Nathan said in her ruling that Maxwell’s lawyers had failed to satisfy the requirements for granting a new trial in a criminal case.” NBC reported.

In December Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on of 5 of 6 counts.

Important details about the case were sealed by the judge.

Maxwell worked as Jeffrey Epstein’s pimp for years and the DOJ knew they were running girls as young as 12 but they refused to act.

Maxwell pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from her role as Epstein’s ‘madam’ from 1994 to 2004.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys in January asked for a new trial after new revelations of one of the juror’s public comments on child sex abuse.

A judge on Friday upheld Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking conviction.

NBC reported:

A federal judge Friday denied granting a new trial to British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who had argued that her conviction for procuring underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein was tainted by the presence of a juror who failed to disclose he himself had been sexually abused as a child.

Judge Alison Nathan said Maxwell’s lawyers had failed to satisfy the requirements for granting a new trial in a criminal case.

Nathan wrote in her ruling that the juror had credibly testified during a hearing in March that he “skimmed way too fast” over a questionnaire before Maxwell’s trial last winter that asked prospective jurors if they had been the victims of sexual abuse.

Maxwell’s lawyers said that Juror 50′s failure to answer that with a yes, instead of the no, as he did, violated her right to have a fair trial.

But Nathan wrote that based on Juror 50′s testimony last month, she believed that “he was not biased and would not have been stricken for cause” from serving on the jury “even if he had answered each question on the questionnaire accurately.”

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.

Biden-Backing Democrat Mayor Charged With Child Porn Possession.

Natalie Winters
March 6th, 202
2

A former Oregon Mayor who donated to Joe Biden’s campaign and collaborated with the Obama administration has been arrested on child pornography charges.

Dennis Doyle, 73, served as the Mayor of Beaverton, Oregon from 2008 until 2021, and during his time in office, allegedly “knowingly and unlawfully possessed digital material containing child pornography.”

The Department of Justice notes that the pornographic content Doyle possessed between November 2014 and December 2015 included “images defying minors under twelve.”

Doyle, who also served as a Beaverton city councilor for 14 years before becoming mayor, was a vocal proponent of combatting climate change through pursuing “green” development policies.

In an interview with Inside Climate News, Doyle reveals he was “pretty active” in environmental activism in the ‘60s while explaining his decision to join the Obama administration’s Better Buildings Challenge.

“This month, Beaverton became the first and only city of its size to join the Obama administration’s Better Buildings Challenge, which asks local governments and companies to cut energy and water use in their buildings by 20 percent by 2020,” explained the paper.

“We’ve had great support from the current [Obama] administration,” remarked Doyle in reference to his efforts to make Beaverton a more “sustainable” city.

Doyle also received the 2012 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award in the small city category, a joint initiative between the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Walmart.

Beyond collaborating with the Obama administration, Doyle has also financially supported several Democratic campaigns, including a $500 donation to President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.

If convicted, Doyle faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a life term of supervised release. He made his first appearance in federal court on March 4th for the case, which is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF).

‘Rife with Conflicts of Interest:’ Google Faces European Antitrust Complaint over Digital Advertising

LUCAS NOLAN
11 Feb 2022

Tech giant Google is facing another antitrust complaint filed in the EU related to the company’s digital advertising business. The European Publishers Council compares Google’s stranglehold on the digital advertising business and its built-in conflicts of interest as both ads buyer and seller to “Goldman or Citibank owning the New York Stock Exchange.”

The Daily Mail reports that the European Publishers Council (EPC) has filed an antitrust complaint against Google in the EU accusing the company of engaging in “unlawful tactics” to monopolize online advertising.

The EPC, a group of chairmen and CEOs of Europe’s largest media groups, has revealed plans to file a complaint with the European Commission about Google’s digital advertising practices. The group alleges that Google’s advertising platform is “rife with conflicts of interests” as the company is acting as both buyer and seller in the same transaction while operating the actual auction platform.

The EPC alleges that this constitutes a monopoly that is harming publishers and consumers in Europe. The EPC compared Google’s advertising platform to “Goldman or Citibank owning the New York Stock Exchange.”

The group claims that figures show that one of Google’s advertising auction programs reduced publisher revenue by 40 percent and that are worries that further changes to cookie technology could result in revenues being reduced by as much as 70 percent.

The EPC’s complaint is just the latest in a long line of antitrust lawsuits filed against Google. The French competition authority fined Googled €220 million in June for favoring its own services. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority also launched an investigation into Google over the introduction of its new Privacy Sandbox advertising plan.

The CMA recently announced that Google agreed to a set of commitments that will give the CMA oversight of the introduction of the Privacy Sandbox.

Read more at the Daily Mail here.