Why Handwritten FBI And DOJ Notes The Special Counsel Just Released Are Huge

Why Handwritten FBI And DOJ Notes The Special Counsel Just Released Are Huge

Recently released handwritten notes from a briefing of the acting attorney general on the status of Crossfire Hurricane reveal the FBI either lied about the source of intel or the British intelligence community fed information to the U.S. agents investigating Donald Trump and his associates.

As part of the pre-trial discovery in the government’s prosecution of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, the special counsel provided defense lawyers notes taken on March 6, 2017, during a high-level briefing of acting Attorney General Dana Boente about the then-ongoing investigation into supposed Russia collusion.

Boente, who held oversight of the DOJ and FBI related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation because of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal, received an update during the meeting from the FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then-assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap, and Counterintelligence Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok. DOJ officials Tashina Gauhar, Mary McCord, and Scott Schools took notes during the briefing, and those notes became public during the Sussmann trial that ended in an acquittal last week.

Soon after the release of the notes, Hans Mahncke and Stephen McIntyre detailed for The Federalist, several passages that indicated the FBI had lied to the DOJ during the March 6, 2017 meeting in numerous ways. From the cryptic notes, Mahncke and McIntyre deciphered and exposed several significant false storylines sold to the acting attorney general, making their article a must-read.

While any lies, misrepresentations, or material omissions matter—or should, especially when told to the acting attorney general related to an investigation connected to the president of the United States, the note’s references to “CROWN reporting” prove particularly significant because of the FISA court’s insistence that the DOJ included Christopher Steele’s background as an MI6 agent in the FISA application prior to the secret surveillance court issuing an order to surveil Carter Page.

The phrase “CROWN Reporting” appeared multiple times in one set of handwritten notes taken during McCabe, Priestap, and Strzok’s March 6, 2017, FBI briefing of the DOJ and Acting Attorney General Boente. Next to “CROWN Reporting,” the notes referenced “convention,” Crimea” and “NATO” and “soften stance for exchange of Russian energy stocks.” These notations fell under the header of points related to Manafort.

A second reference to “CROWN source reporting” came during the FBI’s briefing of Boente concerning the investigation of Carter Page, with the notation following the general discussion of Page.

Huge Implications No Matter the Source

The notes do not elaborate on the “CROWN source” or who provided the “CROWN source reporting.” There are two possibilities, both of which have huge implications for the ongoing special counsel investigation.

First, the claimed “CROWN source” could be former MI6 spy Steele. To date, Steele remains the only person with a connection to British intelligence publicly known to have provided the FBI with information related to Trump and individuals connected to Trump during the Russia collusion investigation.

But if by “CROWN source” the FBI meant Steele, the individual briefing Boente lied to him in several ways, did so in a material way, and there is likely a paper trail that can confirm an earlier, similar lie by FBI agents.

While Steele had at one time served in the British intelligence service, his MI6 status ended long ago, when he retired in 2009 to start the private intelligence service Orbis Business Intelligence. Further, as the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported more than two years ago, Steele told the OIG that the source network he used to compile the memoranda, referred to colloquially as the Steele dossier, did not involve sources from his time as an MI6 agent. On the contrary, his sources were “developed entirely in the period after he retired from government service.”

So not only was Steele not a “CROWN source,” his supposed “intel” also lacked any connection to “Crown Source Reporting.” Accordingly, unless the FBI had a still publicly unknown “CROWN source” who provided the information on which agents briefed the DOJ during the March 6, 2017 meeting, they lied to the DOJ.

If They Lied, It Really Matters

Falsely attributing “intel” to a “CROWN source” proves significant, and not merely for Boente’s oversight of Crossfire Hurricane, but also for Boente’s decision to approve the third application to surveil Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). And the DOJ’s representation of a connection between Steele and British intelligence in the FISA applications appeared dispositive to the FISA court’s decision to authorize surveillance of Page.

Two little-noticed passages, separated by some 50 pages in the OIG’s 478-page report on FISA abuse, revealed the importance the FISA court put on Steele’s connection to British intelligence in ordering surveillance of Page. According to the OIG, before filing its official FISA application, the DOJ submitted a “read copy” to the FISA court to obtain feedback from the FISA court’s legal advisor on whether the application met the statutory requirements and on any issues of concern raised by the legal advisor or the FISA judge handling the application.

In the first read copy submitted to the FISA court related to Page, the application “contained a description of the source network that included the fact that Steele relied upon a Primary Sub-source who used a network of sub-sources, and that neither Steele nor the Primary Sub-source had direct access to the information being reported.” The draft application “also contained a separate footnote on each sub-source with a brief description of his/her position or access to the information he/she was reporting.”

After reviewing the read copy, the FISA court’s “legal advisor asked how it was that Steele had a network of sub-sources.” In response, the government’s Office of Intelligence (OI) attorney “provided additional information to him regarding Steele’s past employment history.”

The FISA court’s legal advisor then requested that additional information be included in the final application, resulting in the final version of the October 2016 FISA application including a footnote detailing Steele’s prior work for British intelligence. The FISA court granted the revised FISA application, ordering surveillance of Page to begin in October 2016. The FISA court renewed the surveillance order three additional times, once in December, again in March, when Boente signed the application, and finally on June 29, 2022, when Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed the final FISA application.

All of the applications referenced Steele’s past service in British intelligence, but, as noted above, Steele’s source network was unrelated to his government work and came entirely from his private work. Given that the FISA court’s legal advisor questioned “how it was that Steele had a network of sub-sources,” and that the advisor directed the OI attorney to expressly include Steele’s previous work as an MI6 agent in the application, the FISA court clearly believed Steele’s network of sources came from his time as a British agent.

Further, given the significance the FISA court placed on that fact, it seems likely the FISA court would have denied the surveillance order had it been told the truth—that Steele’s network of sources had been privately acquired.

FBI Liars Could Still Be Held Accountable

The FBI’s representation during the March 6, 2017 meeting that the supposed intel related to Manafort and Page came from “CROWN sources,”—again, assuming the agent meant Steele—suggests the Crossfire Hurricane team deceived the DOJ from the beginning, resulting in the OI attorney representing to the FISA court that Steele’s network of sources were sources used by British intelligence. That deception also likely affected Boente’s decision to sign the second renewal application.

While these events occurred more than five years ago, and a five-year statute of limitations governs false statement offenses, the D.C. Circuit has held that if a defendant engages in a scheme “to falisf[y], conceal[], or cover[]up” material facts, the limitations period does not begin to run until the scheme ends.

In this case, then, any FBI agents involved in concealing from the DOJ during the final preparation and review of the June 29, 2017, FISA application that Steele’s sources were not “CROWN sources” or connected to his work in British intelligence could still face criminal liability.

Go Get ‘Em, Durham

Further, while the Sussmann trial proved memories fail—sometimes conveniently—uncovering the individuals responsible for representing Steele’s source network as connected to his past life as an MI6 agent seems a relatively straightforward venture given what we learned from the special counsel’s conviction of Kevin Clinesmith.

Clinesmith pleaded guilty nearly two years ago to altering an email related to Page to make it appear that Page “was not a source” for the CIA. Clinesmith’s undoing came from the fact that in preparing the FISA application and renewals, the various government actors used email to confirm details, including with Clinesmith.

The OIG report on FISA abuse detailed that process, noting there were many “back-and-forth exchange[s]” “between the OI Attorney and the FBI, during which the OI Attorney asked many questions about Page, as well as about Steele’s reporting and the structure and access of his source network.” “To further address reliability, the OI Attorney sought information from the FBI to describe the source network in the FISA application,” according to the OIG report. And that information-gathering process included email exchanges and written summaries of briefings.

Either that briefing left the OI attorney with the impression that Steele’s source network came from his MI6 work, or after the FISA court legal advisor asked, “how it was that Steele had a network of sub-sources,” the OI attorney pushed the FBI for more information. If the latter, emails likely memorialize the exchanges.

Whether the FBI agents affirmatively misrepresented Steele’s source network as connected to his British intelligence work in their communiques with the OI attorney, and in turn the OI attorney relayed that information to the FISA court, is unknown to us, but hopefully not to Special Counsel Durham.

Even if no one lied to the OI attorney and he merely assumed Steele’s source network carried over from his time with MI6, a misrepresentation to Boente during the March 6, 2017, briefing that Steele was a “CROWN source” still matters because the FISA surveillance orders were renewed two more times after that meeting.

That, of course, is assuming the FBI meant Steele when they referenced a “CROWN source”—something not entirely clear. More on that shortly.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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Justice Denied: Lawlessness Abounds In DC

Justice Denied: Lawlessness Abounds In DC

Kristi Leigh TV – Jun 5, 2022

Justice Denied: Lawlessness Abounds In DC

Get Yours Today At InfowarsStore.com

SourceSouth Australian Gov Criminal Organisation

Kash Patel Calls on DOJ to Move Russia Hoax Trials Outside of D.C. After Sussman Verdict 

Kash Patel Calls on DOJ to Move Russia Hoax Trials Outside of D.C. After Sussman Verdict 

Former White House national security official Kash Patel called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to move its Russia hoax trials outside of the Washington D.C. area after a “tainted” jury acquitted Michael Sussmann on Tuesday.

Sussman is a former Hillary Clinton Campaign lawyer who the DOJ prosecuted on charges of lying to the FBI as part of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the “Russia collusion” hoax. However, a jury acquitted Sussman on these charges after a full trial.

Sussman was a key player in promoting the “Russia collusion” hoax.

As Breitbart News’s Joel Pollak reported:

Sussmann gave the FBI data that had been produced by researchers working with the campaign and that purported to link Trump to Russia via Alfa Bank. The accusation was soon found to be groundless, but was part of the overall “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory that the Clinton campaign used to smear Trump during the campaign and after his victory.

Patel was brought up during Sussman’s trial, as the prosecution used his four-year-old interview with Sussman as evidence. Patel helped then-Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) investigate the “Russia collusion” hoax while Nunes served on the House Intelligence Committee. Sussman reportedly told the committee he “was working for a client when he went to the FBI claiming that computer evidence showed then-candidate Donald Trump was tied to the Russian government via Alfa Bank.”

Patel said that after Sussmann’s acquittal, his faith in the Justice Department was “completely gone.”

“I was the last man who had any faith in D.C. and the Department of Justice. It is now completely gone,” Patel said in a statement obtained by Breitbart News. He then accused the jury pool of being “tainted” and showing its “political stripes.” Patel also condemned the federal court system for allowing three pro-Hillary Clinton Democrat donors to serve on the jury.

“The D.C. tainted jury pool showed its political stripes and barely deliberated,” Patel said. “Having jury members on a case of this caliber that have donated to such high profile Democrats including Hillary and AOC is beyond unethical, yet they are still responsible for making a decision that looks at the evidence.”

“They violated the law and they violated the oaths they took to sit on the jury,” he added.”

Patel also called out Durham and the prosecution for losing a case that “should have been a lock” in light of the “indisputable” evidence. Patel said:

The lie was shown to them in black and white and the evidence was indisputable. This was a case that should have been a lock for the prosecution as the evidence showed completely clear links and trails of data that linked Sussmann to the Hillary Clinton Campaign including billing the hard drive to the campaign.

He went on to call on the DOJ to remove the hoax cases from D.C.’s jurisdiction.

“The DOJ needs to move these cases out of D.C. as it is 100% impossible to have a fair trial in the city. I am appalled at this verdict and appalled at our justice system,” Patel concluded.

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BREAKING, The FBI Maintains a Workspace, Including Computer Portal, Inside the Law Firm of Perkins Coie – The Ramifications are Significant

There is very little that surprises me, but this is completely stunning.  An FBI whistleblower came forth to inform Rep Jim Jordan and Rep Matt Gaetz that the FBI maintains a workspace inside the law firm of Perkins Coie.  {Direct Rumble Link}

In response to a letter sent by Rep. Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan, Perkins Coie, the legal arm of the DNC and Hillary Clinton, admitted they have been operating an FBI workspace in their Washington D.C. office since 2012.  Pay attention to that date, it matters.  WATCH:

This is a huge development.  Essentially, what is being admitted in this claim is that a portal existed into FBI databases within the law firm that represents democrats.  This means access to FBI database searches exists inside the office of the DNC and Clinton legal group.  Think about the ramifications here.

CTH has long claimed there was some kind of direct portal link between the Clinton campaign team and the FBI databases.  There were too many trails of extracted non-minimized research evidence in the hands of the Clinton team that CTH could not trace to a transferring FBI official.  If Perkins Coie operated a portal in their office that allowed them to conduct search queries of American citizens, then everything would make sense.  That access portal is exactly what is being claimed and admitted in this report.

The start date of 2012 is important for several reasons, not the least of which is FISA presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer criticizing the scale and scope of unlawful FBI database access going back to exactly 2012.  Keep in mind a FISA-702 search, is simply an unlawful FBI warrantless electronic search of an American (“702” represents the American citizen) into the central database -maintained by the NSA- that contains all electronic data and communication.

I have been in the deep hole of the FISA-702 database search query violations for so long I don’t even need a flashlight.

The report from Matt Gaetz about Perkins Coie access to FBI databases, is in direct alignment with Rosemary Collyer’s prior report on FBI abuses of the database, 702 violations.  Notice the dates and scope Judge Collyer references [Source Link].

Non-compliant queries since 2012.

85% of the FBI and contractor searches are unlawful.

Many of those searches involved the use of the “same identifiers over different data ranges.”  Put in plain terms, the same people were continually being tracked, searched and surveilled by querying the FBI database over time.

The non-compliant searches go back to 2012.  The same date mentioned for the FBI portal to begin operating inside the Perkins Coie office.

This specific footnote is a key.  Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”, this sentence has the potential to expose an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; that outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data.

Note: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“, that is important.

Summary: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities.

The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying and surveillance operation.  When the DOJ use of the IRS for political information on their opposition became problematic, the Obama administration needed another tool.  It was in 2012 when they switched to using the FBI databases for targeted search queries.

This information from Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz has the potential to be extremely explosive.

It will be interesting to see how the domestic intelligence community media (NYT, Politico, WaPo – in that order) respond to this Matt Gaetz report.

I wrote about these suspicions in depth throughout 2017, 2018 and eventually summarized in 2019:

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Juror Who Acquitted Sussmann: ‘There Are Bigger Things’ Than Lying to FBI

Juror Who Acquitted Sussmann: ‘There Are Bigger Things’ Than Lying to FBI

A juror in the trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann told the media after he was unanimously acquitted Tuesday that she did not think the case should have been prosecuted because lying to the FBI was not a big deal.

“I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” she reportedly said, according to Jeff Mordock, White House reporter for the Washington Times. “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.”

The case was the most high-profile prosecution undertaken by Special Counsel John H. Durham, who is investigating the origins of the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory. The trial saw testimony that tied Hillary Clinton directly to the hoax.

Sussmann was widely considered by legal observers to have been proven guilty, given the testimony of FBI agents and a text message that suggested he claimed to be acting as a concerned citizen rather than a Clinton campaign lawyer when he tipped off the agency about supposed collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump and the Russian government via Alfa Bank — a claim that was later debunked.

However, as former White House national security official Kash Patel warned on Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM Patriot 125 last week, there could be “jury nullification,” in which the jury simply decided not to convict, regardless of the evidence.

The juror’s attitude hinted at nullification, and contrasted sharply with the approach taken by a federal judge in the same D.C. jurisdiction when it came to former Trump aide Michael Flynn, who was charged with the same crime. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan would not let the case go, even after new evidence emerged that convinced prosecutors to withdraw the charge.

Ultimately, President Trump had to pardon Flynn to extricate him from what observers considered a wrongful prosecution.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Trial Docs: Sussmann Edited FBI Press Release About DNC Hack Because It ‘Undermined’ The DNC’s Narrative

Trial Docs: Sussmann Edited FBI Press Release About DNC Hack Because It ‘Undermined’ The DNC’s Narrative

Documents released during Michael Sussmann’s federal trial show the FBI solicited advice from Hillary Clinton’s lawyer on a press release describing the intelligence agency’s awareness of the Democratic National Committee hack in 2016.

The original press release sent over to Sussmann by Jim Trainor, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, noted that the FBI was aware of “a possible cyber intrusion involving the DCCC,” or the Democratic National Campaign Committee, via “recent media reporting.”

“Michael – our press office is once again getting a ton of calls on the DCCC matter. A draft response is provided below. Wanted to get your thoughts on this prior to sending out,” Trainor wrote.

In his reply, Sussmann asked the FBI to change the first line of the press release to reflect the DNC’s messaging on the hack. He explained that he preferred a more definitive statement that made clear “the FBI is aware of the cyber intrusion involving the DCCC that has been reported in the media.”

“The draft you sent says only that the FBI is aware of media reports; it does not say that the FBI is aware of the intrusion that the DCCC reported. Indeed, it refers only to a ‘possible’ cyber intrusion and in that way undermines what the DCCC said in its statement (or at least calls into question what the DCCC said),” Sussman wrote. “The other implication in your statement that could benefit from updating is that the FBI, just now, is looking into the nature and scope of the DCCC matter. In fact, the FBI has been aware of the DCCC intrusion for some time, and even (previously) received network indicators from the DCCC (i.e., from CrowdStrike).”

Trainor accepted the suggestions with minor protest and agreed to send out Sussmann’s manipulated version of the press release soon.

“Mike – I am fine with the below suggestions. We try to really limit what we see and not acknowledging too much but the below edits are fine and we will send out,” Trainor wrote.

After just one day of deliberations, a D.C.-based federal jury found Sussmann not guilty. During the trial, however, key information further implicating the Democrat party’s efforts to destroy the Trump campaign surfaced and confirmed what outlets such as The Federalist have long reported.

As Federalist Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland wrote in her analysis of the trial, “United States v. Sussmann exposed that Hillary Clinton holds full responsibility for the Russia collusion hoax.”

Not only did Clinton’s former campaign manager Robby Mook testify that the failed presidential candidate personally endorsed parroting the Alfa Bank narrative to anyone in the media who would listen but, as Cleveland noted, “The Sussmann prosecution also dispatched the lingering claims that a secret communication channel between Trump and Russia truly existed as “‘5150,’ or delusional, talk.”

“Even the acquittal of Sussmann will not erase these facts. So for all posterity, Clinton’s fingerprints will be seen covering the worst political scandal of our country’s history,” Cleveland wrote.


Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

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Even If The Jury Doesn’t Convict Michael Sussmann, The Special Counsel Has Won

Even If The Jury Doesn’t Convict Michael Sussmann, The Special Counsel Has Won

The jury in the Michael Sussmann criminal case resumes deliberations today after the long Memorial Day weekend. While prosecutors presented overwhelming evidence over the last two weeks that Sussmann lied to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in 2016, an acquittal by the D.C. jury still seems likely.

Judging the success of Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into the investigation of President Trump and those associated with the Trump campaign and administration should not rest on the outcome of the Sussmann prosecution, however. In fact, even if the special counsel’s office scores a conviction in its false statement case against Sussmann, that would do little to right the scales of justice unbalanced by more than five years of the politically motivated abuse of power that began as Crossfire Hurricane and continued even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued his final report.

So, measuring Durham’s performance by the outcome in United States v. Sussmann would be a mistake. Also, especially in the case of an acquittal, it would ignore the valuable information exposed related to the broader Spygate scandal. Using that gauge as a measure, the special counsel’s office succeeded wildly.

Durham Proved the Collusion Hoax Was a Hillary Clinton Enterprise

On September 19, 2016, Sussmann provided Baker data and whitepapers purporting to show a secret communications network between the Russia-based Alfa Bank and Donald Trump. In indicting Sussmann for allegedly lying to Baker during this meeting, the special counsel’s office revealed in its 27-page speaking indictment “a scandal much deeper than merely Sussmann’s role in a second Russian hoax — a scandal that entangles the Clinton campaign, multiple internet companies, two federally-funded university researchers, and a complicit media.”

Since then, proof that the Clinton campaign held near-total responsibility for launching the Russia-collusion hoax mounted with nearly every legal filing. It eventually culminated during the Sussmann trial when former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook testified that Hillary Clinton personally “agreed with the decision” to feed the unverified—and quickly debunked—theory that Trump was communicating secretly with Russia through a back-door Alfa Bank channel.

Other trial evidence confirmed the Clinton campaign paid the law firm Perkins and Coie a flat fee of as much as $130,000 per month during the campaign, and authorized lead counsel Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS for opposition research. Billing records then showed Sussmann charged his time for working the Alfa Bank hoax—including the time he spent meeting with the FBI’s General Counsel Baker—to the Clinton campaign. In fact, late last week, the jury in the Sussmann case learned that Sussmann even charged the Clinton campaign for two thumb drives purchased at Staples used for the Alfa Bank project.

While the Sussmann case focused on the Alfa Bank hoax, the detailed evidence presented over the course of that prosecution also confirmed the Clinton campaign paid for Fusion GPS to compile the Christopher Steele dossier. Given Mook’s testimony that he sought Clinton’s approval to push the Alfa Bank claims to the media, it is only reasonable to infer she likewise personally green-lighted the peddling of the claims contained in the Steele dossier.

But even if Clinton did not personally approve of peddling the lies contained in the Steele dossier, the Sussmann case established that her campaign paid for the lies—including those emanating from the Russian-national Igor Danchenko. And Special Counsel Durham’s indictment against Danchenko reveals that individuals hired by the Clinton campaign fed that Russian disinformation to U.S. media, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies.

A Court Ruling Requiring More Disclosures

Beyond exposing the Clinton campaign’s responsibility for the Russia-collusion hoax, Durham’s prosecution of Sussmann sets the stage for potentially even more damaging revelations about Clinton’s personal involvement in the scandal.

To date, the Clinton campaign has hidden behind claims of attorney-client privilege to prevent Durham from obtaining documents, communications, and testimony through the grand jury. The Clinton campaign claimed material prepared by, or communications between, Perkins and Coie attorneys, Fusion GPS employees, investigators, and other third parties are protected by attorney-client privilege. Prosecutors in the Sussmann case, however, succeeded in obtaining a court ruling that several documents withheld by Fusion GPS, based on the Clinton campaign’s claims of privilege, are not protected and must be given to prosecutors.

While Fusion GPS continues to withhold thousands of documents, this precedent provides the special counsel’s office solid grounds to challenge the privilege in both the Danchenko case and in other grand jury probes that may be pending. Piercing the privilege will prove key to further exposing Clinton’s personal involvement in Spygate.

Killing the Alfa Bank Hoax For Good

No matter the verdict the jury returns in the Sussmann case, the special counsel’s prosecution also revealed that the Alfa Bank stories were hoaxes—and the scandalous way they were crafted and seeded to America.

Voters first learned of the supposed connection between Trump and the Russian-based Alfa Bank about one week before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, when Slate reported that trusted cyber experts had discovered an “irregular pattern of server lookups” that suggested “a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.”

While the Slate article hedged somewhat by admitting “what the scientists amassed wasn’t a smoking gun,” and that the data “doesn’t absolutely preclude alternative explanations,” the headline, “Group of Computer Scientists Believes a Trump Server Was Communicating With a Russian Bank,” captured the essence of the article—and what its author Franklin Foer, Fusion GPS, and the Clinton campaign wanted Americans to believe.

The Alfa Bank hoax did not end there, however, or even after Trump’s election. Sussmann continued to push the theory to the CIA in February 2017, following Trump’s inauguration. Soon thereafter, Daniel Jones, a former staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence, Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and the president and CEO of The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP) continued the Alfa Bank witch-hunt.

According to a complaint filed with the Senate’s Ethics Committee, staff and members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, including T. Kirk McConnell, “requested and accepted” professional services from Jones and TDIP. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the Armed Services Committee, “via senior leadership staff acting in their official capacity, asked Mr. Jones to research and offer his insights into the alleged connections between Alfa Bank and Trump Organization servers,” and to “evaluate information it had received about DNS look-ups between Alfa Bank servers and Trump Organization servers.”

Jones, the TDIP, and the Senate Armed Services Committee continued the Alfa Bank investigation long after the FBI had concluded in early February 2017 that there “were no such links” between the Trump organization and Alfa Bank. The media also persisted in pushing the supposed Russia collusion scandal.

Media Keeps the Lies Circulating

The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins re-upped the Alfa Bank tale in 2018, in a tome titled, “Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign?” Filkins then resurrected the story for The New Yorker in October 2020, repeating many of the same allegations in “The Contested Afterlife of the Trump-Alfa Bank Story.”

In both pieces, Filkins referenced “Max,” who claimed that he, along with a team of other supposed guardians of the internet, had uncovered the mysterious Alfa Bank-Trump connections. But thanks to the prosecution of Sussmann, we now know “Max” is tech executive Rodney Joffe, and that his fellow cyber experts pushing the Alfa Bank hoax were April Lorenzen and David Dagon.

Court filings in the Sussmann case also revealed that the cyber researchers saw the Alfa Bank theory as flawed. They also showed another expert, Manos Antonakakis, who reviewed the Alfa Bank-Trump whitepapers, had congratulated Joffe on crafting the paper to avoid the most glaring hole in the thesis.

The more devastating take-down of the Alfa Bank theory, however, came during Sussmann’s trial, when government cyber security experts testified of their review of the data, telling the jury they had quickly concluded the hypothesis made no sense. One agent noted it sounded “5150ish” at the time. He explained to the jury he meant that the individual positing the Alfa Bank-Trump connection sounded as if he “was suffering from some mental disability.”

Exposing Deep Intelligence Corruption

Beyond burying the Alfa Bank hoax as a crazy conspiracy theory, Durham’s investigation also exposed the scandalous way the theory permeated both the media and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Joffe tasked two Georgia Tech cyber researchers, as well as employees at tech companies over which he had influence, with mining proprietary and sensitive government data for any connection between Trump and Russia to push the Russia collusion narrative. Joffe also held responsibility for providing the Alfa Bank data to Sussmann, who shared it with the Clinton campaign’s head lawyer, Elias, and Fusion GPS, with the group then plotting to push the tale to the media.

The evidence further showed that Sussmann then fed the Alfa Bank story to the FBI, lying to Baker at the time, prompting the FBI to launch an investigation into the supposed secret communication network. Meantime, Joffe provided a different FBI contact the same Alfa Bank “intel” while asking that agent to maintain his anonymity, thereby creating a problem of circular reporting. Special Counsel Durham also revealed that Joffe still risks prosecution.

As with Sussmann, whether Joffe ever faces charges or a conviction says nothing of the success of the Durham investigation. To date, the special counsel has succeeded in exposing Hillary Clinton’s role in the hoax—and that the Alfa Bank hoax was real and spectacularly scandalous.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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Apparently, While Investigating Trump-Russia, Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann Never Interviewed Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook

Apparently, While Investigating Trump-Russia, Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann Never Interviewed Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook

One of the public revelations created by the trial of Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann is that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Hillary Clinton’s lawyers, and Hillary Clinton’s contracted opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, manufactured the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.  How did Robert Muller not find this?

The Clinton hoax is the key takeaway within the testimony of Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, during the Sussman trial.  Of course, every intellectually honest person who watched events unfold already knew that.  However, the DC politicians, institutions of the DOJ and FBI, and the entire corporate media world have been pretending not to know the truth for almost six years.  Now they are in a pretending pickle.

Mr. Mook was legally forced to put the truth into the official record, ironically because the Clinton lawyers needed him to in order to save themselves.  A stunned Jonathan Turley writes about the revelation HERE.  Meanwhile the journalists who received Pulitzer Prizes, for pushing the manufactured Clinton lies that Mook now admits, must avoid any mention of the testimony in order to maintain their ‘pretending not to know things‘ position.

Special Prosecutor John Durham found the truth behind the creation of the Trump-Russia hoax, and through the trial of Sussmann is now diligently passing out the bitter pill ‘I toldyaso’s’ to the small group of rebellious researchers who found this exact trail of evidence years ago.

The Clinton campaign lying is politics.  The Clinton campaign selling lies to the media is slimy, but nonetheless politics.  The media pushing those lies only showcases how corrupt they are in supporting their political allies.  However, the Clinton campaign selling those lies to the FBI is a bit more problematic; thus, the trial of Sussmann.

Having said all that; while also accepting this grand game of pretense; there’s an 800lb gorilla in the room that no one seems bothered by.

How did Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann spend 2 years investigating Trump-Russia; with a team of 19 lawyers, $40 million in resources, 40 FBI agents, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants and 500 witnesses; and not find out that Hillary Clinton created the hoax they were investigating?

(Source)

The question is, of course, infuriatingly rhetorical.  The 2017, 2018 and 2019 special counsel probe, led by the nameplate of Robert Mueller, was a DC cover-up operation for FBI and DOJ misconduct.  The best defense is a good offense, so they attacked President Trump by maintaining the hoax.

Media people often forget, or perhaps -again- need to pretend not to know; however, the exact same group of FBI and DOJ staff level investigative officials that originated the Trump investigation in 2016, transferred into the Robert Mueller investigation in May 2017.   It was the same people, doing the same investigation, under a different title.

The Mueller team originally consisted of the same FBI officials who received the Alfa-Bank hoax material from Michael Sussmann.

Andrew Weissmann and a group of 19 lawyers joined the effort and pulled in more resources. Yet if we are to believe the current narrative, you would have to believe those same investigators never talked to any Clinton campaign people, or Fusion GPS, or Rodney Joffe, or Marc Elias, or Michael Sussmann?… but wait, I mean, they did.. talk to Sussmann… because….. that’s what this trial is about….

…..Right?

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