by Tom Fitton –
FBI Covered Up Potential Violations of Law by Hillary Clinton
As we watch the slow-motion coup against President Trump let’s not forget that at its heart is the Deep State’s desire to protect Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her illicit behavior.
Now we have more evidence of their cover-up.
We just received 186 pages of records from the Department of Justice that include emails documenting an evident cover-up of a chart of potential violations of law by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
We obtained the records through a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit we filed after the DOJ failed respond to a December 4, 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). Judicial Watch is seeking all communications between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.
The new emails came in response to a May 21 order by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to the FBI to begin processing 13,000 pages of records exchanged exclusively between Strzok and Page between February 1, 2015, and December 2017. The FBI may not complete review and production of all the Strzok-Page communications until at least 2020.
• Three days after then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference announcing that he would not recommend the prosecution of Mrs. Clinton, a July 8, 2016, email chain shows that the Special Counsel to the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of the National Security Branch, whose name is redacted, wrote to Strzok and others that he was producing a “chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation [of Clinton’s server], and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute…”
[Redacted] writes: I am still working on an additional page for these TPs that consist of a chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation, and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute, hopefully in non-lawyer friendly terms …
Strzok forwards to Page, Jonathan Moffa and others: I have redlined some points. Broadly, I have some concerns about asking some our [sic] senior field folks to get into the business of briefing this case, particularly when we have the D’s [Comey’s] statement as a kind of stand alone document. In my opinion, there’s too much nuance, detail, and potential for missteps. But I get they may likely be asked for comment.
[Redacted] writes to Strzok, Page and others: The DD [Andrew McCabe] will need to approve these before they are pushed out to anyone. At the end of last week, he wasn’t inclined to send them to anyone. But, it’s great to have them on the shelf in case they’re needed.
[Redacted] writes to Strzok and Page: I’m really not sure why they continued working on these [talking points]. In the morning, I’ll make sure Andy [McCabe] tells Mike [Kortan] to keep these in his pocket. I guess Andy just didn’t ever have a moment to turn these off with Mike like he said he would.
Page replies: Yes, agree that this is not a good idea.
Neither these talking points nor the chart of potential violations committed by Clinton and her associates has been released.
• On May 15, 2016, James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey, sends FBI General Counsel James Baker; Bill Priestap, former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division; McCabe; Page; and others an email with the subject line “Request from the Director.”
Rybicki writes: By NLT [no later than] next Monday, the Director would like to see a list of all cases charged in the last 20 years where the gravamen of the charge was mishandling classified information.
It should be in chart form with: (1) case name, (2) a short summary for content (3) charges brought, and (4) charge of conviction.
If need be, we can get it from NSD [National Security Division] and let them know that the Director asked for this personally.
Please let me know who can take the lead on this.
Page forwards to Strzok: FYSA [For your situational awareness]
Strzok replies to Page: I’ll take the lead, of course – sounds like an espionage section question… Or do you think OGC [Office of the General Counsel] should?
And the more reason for us to get feedback to Rybicki, as we all identified this as an issue/question over a week ago.
Page replies: I was going to reply to Jim [Rybicki] and tell him I can talked [sic] to you about this already. Do you want me to?
• A July 22, 2016, email exchange, among Strzok, Page, Moffa and other unidentified FBI and DOJ officials, shows that Beth Wilkinson, an attorney for several top Clinton aides during the server investigation, wanted a conference call with the DOJ/FBI and that she was “haranguing” the FBI/DOJ about the return of laptops in the FBI’s possession:
A Wilkinson Walsh attorney, emails [Redacted] FBI National Security Division Officials: We wanted to follow up on our conversation from a few days ago. We would like to schedule a time to speak with both you and [Redacted] early next week. Is there a time on Monday or Tuesday that could work on your end?
[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official emails: See below. I am flexible on Monday and Tuesday. [Redacted] can chime in with her availability. It is my understanding that Toscas [George Toscas, who helped lead Midyear Exam] may have called over to Jim or Trisha [former Principal Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson] regarding some high-level participation for at least the first few such calls. I am happy to discuss further but wanted to send you this so you could raise within the OGC [Office of the General Counsel] and give me a sense of scheduling options. I am around if you want to talk.
[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official writes: In the meantime, I’ll tell Hal that we will certainly schedule a call and will get back to him as to timing. Since he knows Beth [Wilkinson] personally, it could be useful to have Jim on the phone if she is going to be haranguing us re: the laptops.
[Redacted] FBI Office of the General Counsel writes: More…I guess this is [Redacted’s] rationale for why we need to have the GC on the call to discuss the fact that we will be following all of our legal obligations and FBI policies/procedures with regard to the disposition of the materials in this case.
Strzok writes: You are perfectly competent to speak to the legal obligations and FBI policy/procedures. We should NOT be treating opposing counsel this way. We would not in any other case.
• A July 22, 2016, email exchange initiated by an email from Strzok to [Redacted] within the Justice Department’s National Security Division (NSD), Strzok asks the NSD official if he’d like to add anything to the agenda of a meeting to occur three days later between FBI and DOJ attorneys.
[Redacted] NSD official responds: Would like to see what you have on your agenda so we could see what we might want to add on our end. I will mention to [Redacted]. Also interested in understanding FBI OGC’s analysis of the privilege and ethics issues we are facing.
Strzok forwards to Page: Pretty nonresponsive.…
Page responds: Why provide them an agenda? I wouldn’t do that until you have a sense of how Andy [McCabe] wants to go. So no. We’ll talk about what we’re going to talk about and then they can talk about what they want to talk about. Also, seriously Pete. F him. OGC needs to provide an analysis? We haven’t done one. But they seem to be categorical that it’s just impossible, I’d just like to know why.
And now I’m angry before bed again.?
Total indulgence, there’s a TV in here. Here’s hoping I can find something to sufficiently melt my brain???
Strzok replies: Because I want to make this productive! Why NOT provide them an agenda!?!? We all talk about what we want to talk about and that’s a waste of time.
They haven’t done one either (legal analysis)
Assume noble intent.
How do we maximize this use of time?
Page writes: I’m ignoring all this and going to bed.
Strzok and Page were discussing a meeting that the Justice Department and FBI were about to have concerning, among other things, “privilege and ethics issues we are facing.”
• On July 12, 2016, Eugene Kiely, the director of FactCheck.org, emailed the FBI about inconsistencies he’d identified between Comey’s congressional testimony and statements by Clinton and her campaign about her deletion of emails. Kiely noted that Comey testified to the House that Clinton did not give her lawyers any instructions on which of her emails to delete, whereas Clinton herself told the press that she made the decision on which emails should be deleted. Kiely also pointed out that Comey said in his testimony that there were three Clinton emails containing classification “portion markings,” whereas the State Department had said there were only two Clinton emails with classification markings. Kiely’s inquiry set off an internal discussion at the top of the FBI on how to respond to his questions.
Strzok writes: “We’re looking into it and will get back to you this afternoon; the answer may require some tweaking, the question is whether this is the forum to do it.” The email is addressed to FBI intelligence analyst Moffa; Moffa; Rybicki; Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired; Lisa Page and others.
Strzok’s suggested press response is fully redacted, but included is his deferral to the “7thfloor as to whether to release to this reporter or in another manner.”
When asked “should we provide any additional information to FactCheck.org or would any updates more appropriately be give [sic] directly to Congress?” Strzok defers to “Jim/Lisa [Page]” and [Redacted].
• In response to a March 29, 2016, article in The Hill, forwarded by Strzok to Page, reporting that Judge Royce Lamberth ordered limited discovery for Judicial Watch in its lawsuit against the State Department for Clinton’s emails (related to the Benghazi attack) – and thus opening Clinton up to possible depositions by Judicial Watch – Page responds simply: “Oh boy.”
What this all means: We have caught the FBI in another cover-up to protect Hillary Clinton. These records show that the FBI is hiding a chart detailing possible violations of law by Hillary Clinton and the supposed reasons she was not prosecuted.
Let us hope our new attorney general is paying attention.
Docs Show State/FBI Bribery Scandal
to Help Protect Hillary Clinton
I have said before that untangling the knot of Deep State collusion in support of Hillary Clinton will take time, but we continue pulling the strands and getting results.
We have now received 215 pages of records from the U.S. Department of Justice revealing Clinton/FBI connections. Former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues.
The documents also further describe a previously reported quid pro quo from the Obama State Department offering the FBI more legal attaché positions if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation “from classified to something else.”
This batch comes thanks to the same Judicial Watch lawsuit described above for:
• All records of communications, including but not limited to, emails, text messages and instant chats, between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page;
• All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Peter Strzok.
• All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Lisa Page.
On October 28, 2016, the day that Comey sent a letter to Congress regarding the FBI’s discovery that the Weiner laptop contained Clinton’s emails, Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, within hours, emails Baker requesting a call “ASAP” about the Comey letter. Baker describes his follow-up call to senior FBI officials:
I received the email below from David Kendall and I called him back. Before doing so I alerted DOJ via email that I would do that.
He said that our letter was “tantalizingly ambiguous” and made statements that were “inchoate and highly ominous” such that what we had done was worse than transparency because it allows people to make whatever they want out to make out of the letter to the prejudice of Secretary Clinton.
I told him that I could not respond to his requests at this time but that I would discuss it with others and get back to him.
I suggest that we have some kind of follow up meeting or phone call with this group either this evening or over the weekend to address this and probably other issues/questions that come up in the next 24 hours. Sound reasonable?
Baker’s heads-up on the Kendall call was sent to:
• Then-Director James Comey; since fired;
• Then-Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich, who later replaced Andrew McCabe as deputy director;
• Michael Steinbach, the F.B.I.’s former executive assistant director for national security;
• Then-Assistant Director of Counterintelligence E.W. Priestap, now retired;
• James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey;
• FBI intelligence analyst Jonathan Moffa;
• Former Acting Assistant Director Jason V. Herring;
• Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired;
• Former principal deputy general counsel Trisha Anderson;
• Strzok and Page
The emails show that a conference call for the above senior officials was set up for the next day by Peter Strzok. (Two days before the election, on November 6, Comey sent a second letter reporting that the FBI’s review of the Weiner laptop material would not change his “conclusion” that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted.)
On October 13, 2016, former FBI attorney Lisa Page sent an email, which apparently references a related Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit and further discusses a previously reported quid pro quo offer from the State Department:
Jason Herring will be providing you with three 302s of current and former FBI employees who were interviewed during the course of the Clinton investigation. These 302s are scheduled to be released to Congress in an unredacted form at the end of the week, and produced (with redactions) pursuant to FOIA at the beginning of next week. As you will see, they describe a discussion about potential quid pro quo arrangement between then-DAD in IOD [deputy assistant director in International Operations Division] and an Undersecretary at the State Department whereby IOD would get more LEGAT [legal attaché] positions if the FBI could change the basis of the FOIA withhold re a Clinton email from classified to something else. [Emphasis added]
The lawsuit also forced the release of a November 6, 2016, email by then-FBI official Peter Strzok telling Bowdich, Priestap, Rybicki, Page, former FBI General Counsel James Baker and others: “[Redacted], Jon and I completed our review of all of the potential HRC work emails on the [Anthony Weiner] laptop. We found no previously unknown, potentially classified emails on the media [laptop].”
As we previously reported, there were at least 18 classified emails found on the Weiner laptop by the FBI. Paul Sperry’s RealClear Investigations report revealed that only 3,077 of the 340,000 emails “were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information.”
The new records also include a September 2, 2016, email that Comey forwards containing a press release issued that day by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), in which Grassley criticized the FBI for not publicly releasing many unclassified records related to the Clinton email-server investigation, as demanded by Congress. In his cover note responding to Grassley’s charge, Comey tells his top aides, “To be great is to be misunderstood.” Page then responds with, “Outstanding.”
On October 23, 2016, Strzok forwarded to Page and others the Wall Street Journal article revealing that Andrew McCabe’s wife had received a half million dollars for her Democratic state senate campaign. Page responded that the article “shaded or omitted or mischaracterized” facts “in order to get out the story [the reporter] wanted to tell.” She claimed the WSJ story was just “another depressing chapter in this whole post-investigation saga.”
It is big news that, just days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer pressured the top lawyer for the FBI on the infamous Weiner laptop emails.
The media picked up on our finds. Here are some sample headlines. Fox News: “FBI’s top brass raced to handle Fox News inquiry on alleged quid pro quo over Clinton emails, new documents show,” and Daily Mail: “FBI’s infamous texting lover Lisa Page described ‘quid pro quo’ with State Department to trade more overseas staff for help downgrading ‘classified’ Hillary Clinton email.”
These documents further underscore that the fix was in for Hillary Clinton. When will the Justice Department and FBI finally do an honest investigation of the Clinton email scandal?
We’re not holding our breath on that. Last month, United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
Our discovery will seek answers to:
• Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
• whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
• whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.
These latest documents add to the growing evidence of malfeasance in the highest offices of the land to advance the cause of Hillary Clinton.
Left Tries to Torpedo Census Question About Citizenship!
The Left is a destroyer of truth and is opposed to the transparency necessary for citizens to meaningfully govern themselves in our constitutional republic.
We are taking on their truth suppression efforts with our friends in the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF). We jointly filed this week an urgent amici curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court, urging it to overturn the ruling of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York blocking the Secretary of Commerce from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.
The brief argues that including a citizenship question would help us and the government make sure only eligible citizens are on the voting rolls:
Adding a citizenship question to the decennial census would generate a massive amount of new data concerning the numbers of citizens and noncitizens in U.S. states and counties. To quibble about potential limitations in the data that would be collected is to miss the point. It cannot be the case that we are somehow better off with less information. The mountain of new data generated by the decennial census question will assist private litigants and the Department of Justice in their efforts to enforce the National Voter Registration Act. Indeed, this data will overcome limitations identified by a federal court concerning the current data on citizenship
Our brief cites a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Bellitto v. Snipes (No. 16-cv-61474), which criticized the current source for citizenship information, a limited survey called the American Community Survey. We argued that getting more data about the citizen voting-age population (CVAP) is critical to enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the Voting Rights Act.
Our brief also joins the Commerce Department in arguing that the lower court overstepped its bounds in blocking the Secretary of Commerce’s decision about what to include:
[A] determination about what to include on a census questionnaire is committed to agency discretion and is unreviewable under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) [and] a court determining whether an agency action is arbitrary and capricious under the APA may not substitute its judgment for that of the agency.
This Judicial Watch/AEF filing comes in the case U.S. Department of Commerce, et al. v. State of New York, et al. (18-966), which is on emergency appeal to the Supreme Court. The New York district court decision under appeal was a consolidation of two cases (State of New York, et al. v. U.S. Department of Commerce, et al. (18-cv-2921) and New York Immigration Coalition, et al. v. U.S. Department of Commerce, et al. (18-cv-5025)) challenging the decision of the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire. The district court held that Ross’s decision failed to “comply with the policy decisions that Congress — to which the Constitution gives authority over the census — has made and enshrined in statute, including but not limited to the preference for obtaining data through administrative records rather than through direct inquiries.”
Our brief responds:
[T]he Department of Justice stated that citizenship data was “critical” to its efforts to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that the decennial census was “the most appropriate vehicle” for asking a question about citizenship. The Secretary of Commerce agreed. In so acting, the Secretary rejected the argument that including a citizenship question would reduce the response rate for noncitizens. The Secretary found that the available data did not support this suggestion and added that the value of “more complete and accurate” citizenship data outweighed the disadvantages that might arise from a lower response rate.
We are the national leader in enforcing the provisions of the NVRA. In early January, we announced a settlement agreement with the State of California and County of Los Angeles under which they will begin the process of removing from their voter registration rolls as many as 1.5 million inactive registered names that may be invalid.
This was only the third statewide settlement achieved by private plaintiffs under the NVRA – and we were the plaintiff in each of those cases. The other statewide settlements were with Ohio (in 2014) and with Kentucky (2018), which agreed to a court-ordered consent decree.
Leftists hate the idea of the American people knowing the number of foreign nationals in the United States, which is why they oppose a census question about citizenship. The good breaking news is the Supreme Court just decided today to take up the Census case.
You can be sure that we will continue to urge the Supreme Court should reject the lower court judicial power grab that would unlawfully restrict the Trump administration from getting more information about the residents of the United States.
How the Deep State Colludes
with Its Friends in the Media
Did you see CNN’s video of the FBI raiding the home of Roger Stone and his wife in the middle of the night? The CNN team was apparently there an hour before the heavily armed agents showed up.
Do they have a really good nose for news, or do they have a good ear for whispers from Robert Mueller’s special counsel operation eager for another anti-Trump photo op?
We want to find out.
We have sent an official complaint to the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (IG) calling for investigations into leaks of information about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Our complaint asks for an investigation of any leaks to CNN about the controversial raid on the home of Roger Stone and for leaks to BuzzFeed suggesting that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
On January 25, 2019, CNN was the only media outlet to be present and shooting exclusive footage of the SWAT-team type raid by the FBI when it arrested former Trump associate Roger Stone at his home in Florida. Though CNN has claimed that its being on site in the dark of night was merely a matter of “good instincts,” Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker told a congressional committee last week that “It was deeply concerning to me as to how CNN found out about that.”
In our complaint, we point out that an Inspector General investigation is required due to an apparent violation of “Limited Official Use” information, which is “unclassified information of a sensitive, proprietary or personally private nature which must be protected against release to unauthorized individuals, and this term is prescribed for use within the Department to signify such information.”
On January 17, 2019, BuzzFeed published an article titled “President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About the Moscow Tower Project.” In the article, the authors reveal that they were given information “according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” Mueller’s office, in a rare public rebuke, later disputed the story:
BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.
In our complaint, we ask for an investigation into the BuzzFeed question and “equal application of the law,” considering “former FBI Director James Comey launched a federal leak investigation following comments made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani … suggesting that he had advance knowledge gleaned from federal agents of the reopening of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation resulting from the discovery of Mrs. Clinton’s emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.”
The Justice Department IG must immediately investigate leaks that place law enforcement at risk and are designed to lawlessly destroy President Trump. Deep State opponents of President Trump shouldn’t be allowed to break the law to advance their effort to overthrow the president.
Here is the full complaint:
Judicial Watch, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability, and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor the operations of the federal government as part of our anti-corruption mission.
This letter serves as our formal complaint for you to open investigations into two (2) matters related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, that we believe may involve violations of federal law and/or Department of Justice regulations.
The first matter involves reported leaks by federal law enforcement officials to reporters at BuzzFeed News, an online news outlet, alleging President Trump directed his former legal counsel, Michael Cohen, to lie to members of Congress in sworn testimony. Specifically, BuzzFeed reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier published an article titled “President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About the Moscow Tower Project.”
The opening paragraph of the article, published on January 17, 2019, stated:
President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. [Emphasis added]
We note that, according to public reporting, former FBI Director James Comey launched a federal leak investigation following comments made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a Fox News interview in 2016 suggesting that he had advance knowledge gleaned from federal agents of the reopening of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation resulting from the discovery of Mrs. Clinton’s emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
Therefore, as a matter of equal application of the law, we request that a leak investigation related to the BuzzFeed reporters’ claims be undertaken.
The second matter to which we bring your attention that requires an Inspector General investigation relates to the apparent advance unauthorized disclosure or notice provided to CNN of the FBI arrest of former Trump associate Roger Stone on January 25, 2019.
Specifically, information related to the pending arrest of a suspect would be considered Limited Official Use (LOU) information, which is governed by DOJ Regulation 2620.7, to wit:
Limited Official Use information is unclassified information of a sensitive, proprietary or personally private nature which must be protected against release to unauthorized individuals, and this term is prescribed for use within the Department to signify such information.
Among those categories of information is any that could result in physical risk to individuals.”
The close proximity of civilians in the form of CNN journalists to the scene of an arrest that apparently required upwards of two dozen heavily armed federal agents would seem to pose a physical risk to those individuals.
Therefore, the apparent advance unauthorized disclosures or notice provided to CNN by federal officials of the pending arrest of Mr. Stone would appear to violate DOJ guidelines. Regulation 2620.7 also stipulates:
UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE. Heads of Departmental organizations shall ensure that prompt and appropriate administrative action is taken against personnel responsible for disclosure of Limited Official Use material to unauthorized individuals and issue appropriate directives, if needed, to affect this action.
We hereby request that the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General undertake investigations into both aforementioned apparent violations of federal law and/or regulations.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton