Month: March 2017

Kushner and Trump: Taped At Secret Trump Tower Meetings With Russians?

On March 3rd, Donald Trump made a series of tweets. Three were about a wiretap at Trump Tower. Two, however, were about Jeff Sessions meeting the Russian ambassador. Those tweets got lost in the resulting storm.

Over the past week, Devin Nunes obstructed justice on TV, both announcing that one White House staffer was under investigation and that “a transition team member” was recorded in a FISA intercept.

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As we exclusively reported, that staffer was almost certainly Boris Epshteyn, named by Comey in his first failed FISA application in June.

Also as we exclusively reported, Michael Ellis is suspected of having leaked this material to Nunes.

But what would be so bad that it would cause Nunes to rush to the White House to illegally receive top-secret FISA evidence?

I believe that Jared Kushner is on tape talking to a Russian spy. Worse, I believe that as part of entirely legal and admissible FISA evidence, Donald Trump is also on tape talking to a Russian spy about money laundering.

Here is my reasoning. First,the facts. I reported that two Russian banks, SVB Bank and Alfa Bank, were the subjects, the named targets, of the FISA warrant looking at Russian money being laundered into the Trump campaign. This was a world exclusive on November 7th.

SB2

Permission was granted for the FBI to look at intercepts that involved US persons as they related to this campaign / money laundering.

Boris Epshteyn was named in an earlier version of this case to the court, and the warrant was then denied. But it is not a different case; rather, minimization was applied by the FBI before the warrant was granted.

Those are the facts of the matter on the warrant. It is also factually true that Jeff Sessions met with Kislyak, a spy recruiter, and perjured himself over it. It is further factually true that Jared Kushner snuck Kislyak into Trump Tower. Lastly, it is factually true that Jared Kushner met Gorkov, an FSB spy, at the request of Kislyak,

Second, informed speculation.

I believe that on March 3rd, Michael Ellis, newly placed in the White House, gave Donald Trump some very bad news (illegally). First he told him that Kislayak’s phone calls had been intercepted and his meetings taped – as is normal. Hence Jeff Sessions’ conversations with the spy-master were on tape. Worse, Ellis told Trump, members of Donald Trump’s own family had been taped talking to that same Russian ambassador. Lastly, he, Donald Trump, was also recorded – his phone was recorded – in Trump Tower – talking to Kislyak.

Trump would have blustered and demanded to know how this was legal. Ellis would have told him about the FISA warrant. My world exclusive stated this was granted in October, hence Trump’s squeals that “Obama” had him “tapped” “right before the victory”.

I believe that here Trump referred to the granting of the warrant as described by Ellis. Ellis may have said, for example, that the Justice Department had to authorize the application to FISC. Trump garbled this because he is galactically stupid.

I believe that the references to Trump Tower are because Jared Kushner’s meeting with Gorkov  and Kislyak was indeed taped because SVB Bank is a direct target of the warrant. Epshteyn led an ‘invest in Moscow’ trip in 2014, Gorkov’s bank and SVB had signed a memo to “invest in US startups”. The latter bit is mentioned in the Steele Dossier.

As a named target, SVB Bank is legitimate – and US persons caught up in this are legitimate. Jared talking to Gorkov was fair game. SVB

Kushner had snuck the Russian ambassador secretly into – Trump Tower. And Trump said “MY phones were tapped.” That means – I believe – that legal FISA intercepts involve not only Jared Kushner talking to Russian spies but also, because Trump called in to this secret meeting or meetings within Trump Tower, Donald J. Trump.

Michael Ellis probably called Nunes in with urgency because he saw Trump and Kushner named in intercepts. This explains why the equally galactically stupid and treacherous Nunes said that he read top secret FISA evidence ‘not to do with Russia’ and ‘Russia was never mentioned’. When you are looking at money-laundering and RICO offenses – as I report the FISA warrant was – you do not need to NAME Russia. You discuss dates, amounts of money and deals.

But (at the risk of repeating myself) this was indeed a FISA warrant, and was both a national security and criminal case. It was, as I reported in November, not about common or garden oligarch corruption or the Russian mob – it was about Russian money being funneled into the Trump campaign, as Paul Wood of the BBC makes clear in his exclusive report of January 12th.

When Ellis saw the actual intercepts involving Trump and Kushner, I postulate, he panicked and rang Nunes for a quiet midnight stroll in the White House grounds – because Trump needed some way to attack the legal and incidental evidence collected under FISA, and “fruit of the poisoned tree” is, quite literally, all these people have left.

But the tree is not poisoned, and the fruit is legally top notch.

How do you like them apples, Mr. Putin?

IMG_0994

Did Nunes Leak FISA Warrant Info via White House Lawyer Michael Ellis?

Following our exclusive report that Devin Nunes leaked information about transition team member, White House staffer and named subject of a failed FISA court application, Boris Epshteyn, I can exclusively report that sources with links to Congress state that staffers working on the Russia investigations believe that lawyers connected to the White House are illegally sharing information with Nunes – and illegally pressing him to leak it.

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While sources are not yet definite as to which lawyer or lawyers they suspect of repeatedly breaking the law on leaks and obstruction of justice, several have named Michael Ellis, of the White House General Counsel’s office for National Security, as one they suspect.

Mr. Ellis previous job was the General Counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, working for Mr. Nunes directly. Sources indicate that Nunes recommended Ellis for the White House national security post.

Yesterday it was reported that Nunes’ friend Mr. Ellis, described as his “close aide”, only started working for the White House this month, when leaks started.

If indeed Mr. Ellis did pass on information about the FISA evidence on money laundering, possibly involving Epshteyn, to Nunes, asking him to leak it to the press or allowing him to do so, it would be highly illegal conduct.

Mr. Nunes and Mr. Ellis should immediately answer to the rest of the Committee, as to whether anything of the sort occurred, and Mr. Nunes should be hauled before the FBI for the crimes he is committing in plain sight.

 

 

 

Boris Epshteyn Named in FBI FISA Application; Did Nunes Obstruct Justice?

 

On November 7th, I reported at Heat Street that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant covering the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

I reported that the FISA warrant had been granted after an earlier, failed application to the court in the summer named Trump and “at least three other men, who have either formed part of his campaign or acted as his media surrogates“.

Those names, sources said, were Donald Trump, with Paul Manafort and Carter Page (two men that had formed part of Trump’s campaign) and Boris Epshteyn, who at the time I reported, the eve of the election itself, had only acted as Mr. Trump’s media surrogate.

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Since that time, Mr. Epshteyn has become a part of government as a Transition Team official and now at the White House and I feel able to be explicit as to the names sources gave me as forming part of the summer application to the court.

It is important to note that the application to FISC made by the FBI in June* was denied. The FBI must, by definition, have represented to the FISA court that they believed Trump, Page, Manafort and Epshteyn were either actual Russian agents, or Russian “agents of influence”, which can be unwitting, as Brad C Moss, a national security lawyer, pointed out in my report for Heat Street.

The application that was successful, in October, named two Russian banks – rather than US persons suspected by the FBI to be agents of influence for a foreign power – as it targets- and was drawn more tightly under the ‘minimization’ doctrine around money laundering and financial offenses, I reported. But, the FISA warrant explicitly granted the FBI permission to examine the communications of U.S. persons as they related to this money laundering inquiry. I did not report any “wiretapping” of Trump tower, nor any surveillance; rather, my reporting faithfully reflected the views of my sources that a warrant was granted.

Indeed, rather than any concept of new surveillance, I reported that the FBI had sought permission to examine already existing evidence, provided to the CIA or NSA by allied intelligence services, that related to this inquiry – specifically, to the money laundering inquiry. They previously had been unable to listen to this evidence, or to read these intercepts, because they involved “U.S. persons”. Contrary to the Trump-Bannon bleating about “deep state”, sources indicated that Director Comey was most concerned to follow the law very precisely; “in order that the chain of evidence have a clear basis in a warrant”, as I said at the time.

Two months later Paul Wood of the BBC published a seminal report on the entire Russian war on American democracy, which included further exclusive details on the FISA warrant, which added to my own reporting and made the picture much clearer.

The existing evidence, he reported, was a tape made by a Baltic state’s intelligence service, of Russian money going into the Trump campaign. It was made in April, and involved a US person or persons. Wood exclusively reported a six-agency task force including the US treasury was set up to investigate this. (He also reported a second failed application to FISC in August, something I did not learn from my sources at the time, but which sources have since confirmed to be accurate). Therefore, ‘money laundering’ it may be, but ‘from Russia into the Trump campaign’ is the second part of that puzzle, and explains, we may postulate, why Comey described to Congress his national security investigation as including any criminal aspects. It is why the warrant against the Russian banks was sought in a FISC and not an ordinary court. As had I exclusively reported on November 7th, the case was both criminal and a top-level national security case.

Exposing new and unreported evidence in such a case as (I believe) both Trump and Nunes have done is itself a crime.

Wood did not specify, but I believe it to be a fair inference, that one of those US persons was Paul Manafort, who took over the Trump campaign in March, just before the tape was made in April. Carter Page wrote to the FBI demanding they stop investigating him; leaving only Mr. Epshteyn as the unreported name in the failed applications.

I cannot confirm whether Mr. Epshteyn is, as has been speculated about, ‘Source E’ in the Steele dossier, but he fits the description given of that source. What I can report is that sources stated Epshteyn was named to the FISA court in June* as a target, but – and I re-emphasize this point – that application was denied by the court.

Knowing the above, his departure from the White House after two epic failures by Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is not, I believe, a coincidence. Mr. Epshteyn has not been indicted (as far as I know) still less convicted of any crime. But it seems fairly obvious to me that Nunes is obstructing justice in plain sight –  and should be arrested.

When Nunes said:

I do not believe that was a slip of the tongue. I believe he referred to Mr. Epshteyn and tipped him off on live television.

Further, Mr. Nunes’ rants about FISA warrants (plural – I have only reported one, more, clearly, may exist) ought not to be assumed to be fact free. Instead, they should be assumed to be a completely illegal and garbled recitation of classified information illegally acquired and distributed by Nunes. When he says what he read “did not relate to Russia” he means he read details of a money-laundering investigation under FISA (but it did relate to Russia). When Nunes says he “did not hear the word Russia” nor would he need to if he were illegally reading transcripts of conversations involving money laundering, names and amounts. And when he refers to a member “of the Presidential transition team” on which he himself sat, I believe he is referring to Boris Epshteyn.

Mr. Epshteyn has, again, not even been indicted, far less convicted in any court. But IF he is indeed under a top secret investigation and his buddy and Trump lackey Nunes has just discussed both the evidence against him and the fact that he is under investigation, then it is Representative Nunes who needs to be arrested. The House Intelligence Committee should do more than demand that Speaker Ryan remove Devin Nunes as chairman of the Russian hacking inquiry. It should call Nunes as a witness, under oath. Having sat myself on a Select Committee, I know very well that politicians become friends with their opposite numbers. It is hard indeed to turn on a colleague with whom one is friendly. But the Committee must steel themselves to their manifest duty. Removal of Mr. Nunes from the House Intelligence Committee is now a matter of the national security of the United States at the highest level.

  • [correction: story originally wrongly wrote July; the Nov 7 story correctly sad June]

Wikileaks Hands “Keys” to Putin’s Russian Hacker – Readers, Leakers Tracked

Exclusive analysis by Laurelai Bailey, published by Patribotics this week confirmed that Julian Assange and Wikileaks obtained two new servers in Russia just one week before the hacked Podesta emails were released.

Laurelai reported that the ultimate registrant of the servers was one Peter Chayanov, of Russia, a known cyber-criminal and hacker.

Julian Assange has been identified by the US intelligence community as a front for Russian distribution and ‘deniability’ of Russian government-sponsored hacking. Today, however, as a result of our reporting on the dox by Op Ferguson, that link is far clearer.

The internet is tightly controlled in Russia. Cyber criminals have to answer to Putin. Mr. Chayanov is the head of a firm called Hostkey, which hosts mail spammers and other malware and hacking tools, despite offering web space to Wikileaks. Wikileaks chose to use a Russian hacker to host their site – and they knew that he was connected to Vladimir Putin and operated with the blessing of Putin’s government.

Putin and Assange are thus already linked.

But it is much worse for Wikileaks – and the internet in general – even than it looks. In order not to bury the lede, I will report what appear to be the conclusions of the web developers and hackers on Twitter discussing Laurelai’s story, and then report on how they appeared to have arrived there.

* Wikileaks has handed Chayanov access to everything stored on its site and servers

* The Russian hacker and spammer can ‘monitor traffic

* He can tell who is reading anything on the Wikileaks site anywhere in the world

* The Russian hacker has access to all documents that have been sent to Wikileaks

* He can probably bust the anonymity of any computer or user who thought they were anonymously donating to Wikileaks

* It is not reasonable to suggest that this hacker is other than linked with Russia’s GRU – if he has it, they have it

* Through Julian Assange and his website, it appears that the Russian hacker and his government can track any readers of the Wikileaks site and any donors of material to it, thus allowing Russia to ‘blackmail’ anyone who ‘sent secrets’ to Wikileaks as a ‘whistleblower’.

I will update this story later in the day summarizing discussions among the hacker and developer community on Twitter that led to this bombshell conclusion.

All of the above appear to be factual statements. It is not a fact that Russia did indeed monitor web traffic to Wikileaks, but it seems to be an absolute fact that if they want to, they can – and it seems, from the reaction of Mr. Chayanov upon being outed, almost totally certain that Julian Assange handed Russia the keys to the Wikileaks site deliberately.

When Julian Assange wrote “Wikileak the Government” he apparently meant “Wikileaks is the Government (of Russia)”.

A subsequent post will explore the further possibility that Peter Chayanov is also Guccifer2 – providing the materials that hacked the US election, as well as helping Assange and Wikileaks work with Putin to do so.

Wikileaks is Connected to Russia – Despite Their Claims

By Laurelai Bailey

 

Wikileaks has time and time again denied any connections to Russia or the Russian state, but – like Donald Trump – they are lying. This weekend, it was exposed on Twitter that they acquired major Russian servers – from a known hacker – one week before the Podesta emails were released.

 

I will walk you through the proof, since its a little complex for non computer experts. So let’s start with a primer.

 

All websites on the internet have an address, much like houses in the real world. This address are usually names and things you recognize, like google.com or amazon.com. But behind that address there are a series of numbers, unique to each server known as internet protocol addresses. If you have ever had to log in to your wireless router, you wound up typing a number into your browser like 192.168.1.1, this is an IP address.

 

Now IP addresses have physical locations, in the real world, and tools exist to discover where those addresses are.

 

Wikileaks  -like every other website –  has servers and IP addresses behind the domain name “wikileaks.org”. When we do a command on a linux machine called “dig” we find out all of the IP addresses behind the domain name. Here is the output of the dig command. Don’t worry if you can’t understand this part – just scroll down to the rest of the article. The writing in the middle explains it, but for those that want proof, we need to list how we get from a to b. 

 

dig wikileaks.org

 

; <<>> DiG 9.8.2rc1-RedHat-9.8.2-0.47.rc1.el6_8.4 <<>> wikileaks.org

;; global options: +cmd

;; Got answer:

;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 4839

;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 6, AUTHORITY: 4, ADDITIONAL: 8

 

;; QUESTION SECTION:

;wikileaks.org.                 IN      A

 

;; ANSWER SECTION:

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       95.211.113.154

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       141.105.65.113

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       141.105.69.239

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       195.35.109.44

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       195.35.109.53

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       95.211.113.131

 

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:

wikileaks.org.          1470    IN      NS      ns2.wikileaks.org.

wikileaks.org.          1470    IN      NS      ns1.wikileaks.org.

wikileaks.org.          1470    IN      NS      ns4.wikileaks.org.

wikileaks.org.          1470    IN      NS      ns3.wikileaks.org.

 

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:

ns1.wikileaks.org.      80774   IN      A       46.28.206.81

ns2.wikileaks.org.      83083   IN      A       46.28.206.82

ns3.wikileaks.org.      80774   IN      A       95.211.113.131

ns3.wikileaks.org.      80774   IN      A       195.35.109.54

ns3.wikileaks.org.      80774   IN      A       31.192.105.18

ns4.wikileaks.org.      80774   IN      A       195.35.109.44

ns4.wikileaks.org.      80774   IN      A       95.211.113.154

ns4.wikileaks.org.      80774   IN      A       141.105.65.114

 

;; Query time: 20 msec

;; SERVER: 213.186.33.99#53(213.186.33.99)

;; WHEN: Fri Mar 10 16:21:37 2017

;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 327

 

Now the above might mostly seem like junk to you, if you don’t speak computer, so we’ll cut out everything not that’s not relevant and focus on what is relevant, namely, these two addresses:

 

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       141.105.65.113

wikileaks.org.          600     IN      A       141.105.69.239

 

When you look up these addresses, listed above, via a command known as “whois”, you can find their physical location in the real world.

 

organisation:   ORG-MTL21-RIPE

org-name:       Mir Telematiki Ltd

org-type:       LIR

address:        Barabannii pereulok 4/4

address:        107023

address:        Moscow

address:        RUSSIAN FEDERATION

phone:          +7 495 369 9796

fax-no:         +7 495 369 9796

mnt-ref:        MTLM-MNT

mnt-ref:        RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT

mnt-by:         RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT

mnt-by:         MTLM-MNT

abuse-mailbox:  abuse@hostkey.ru

abuse-c:        HA2800-RIPE

created:        2010-10-06T10:46:46Z

last-modified:  2016-09-30T12:14:19Z

source:         RIPE # Filtered

 

This information is the same for both IP addresses, and if you notice the last modified date as “2016-09-30” that is when the IP address’s pointing to a server was changed. So we can safely bet that this is when wikileaks added these addresses to their systems.

In turn, this proves Wikileaks gained Russian hosting on September 30th 2016, one week before the Podesta emails were made public. Wikileaks got Russian Federation virtual addresses one week before the Podesta emails. Let that sink in.

 

Now the actual owner of the IP addresses is a man by the name of Peter Chayanov, whose IP addresses have hosted spammers and hackers, according to my sources, who work in internet backbone companies.

 

Chayanov’s IP space is a virtual equivalent of a bad neighborhood that makes you lock your car doors when you drive through it. So this further implies a connection to Wikileaks and Russian hackers. That sort of stuff is Chayanov’s day job. And, further, it’s important to remember, this web host also stays around at the consent of the Russian government despite (or because of?) being known cyber criminal hosts.

chayanov.jpg

The other addresses I told you to ignore before? When you do a whois on wikileaks itself you get shown IP’s in Amsterdam and Zurich, ones that make much more sense to have since they are in countries with strong freedom of speech and transparency laws. Places you would want an organization like that in, but the Russian IP spaces, to be visible to you have to be dug for carefully to find them. They did a fairly good job obfuscating it, but the records will always be able to be found.

Mr. Chayanov did not disguise his hosting carefully enough. And when he was exposed this weekend on Twitter, he made matters worse by deleting his account at once.

So why would Wikileaks, a “transparency” org acquire hosting in a country thats known to assassinate whistleblowers? Especially ones that challenge Trumps presidency? It makes no sense for people who claim to be for transparency to take up virtual residence in an autocratic nation that might try to kill them. So why would they do it? Well, it’s pretty simple; they would only be there with the consent of the Russian government, ieVladimir Putin. He wants them to be there and allows them to be there.

 

Why would he do that? Sounds an awful lot like putting a rattlesnake in your own bed to keep the neighbors away. That is if wikileaks was as neutral and would leak against anyone like they claim. Putin might be an autocrat, but he isn’t an idiot.

 

He would not allow them there unless he got something out of it for himself, like immunity to being leaked against or by having influence over what gets leaked and when. Putin like all politicians is a self interested lout and acts in ways that keep him in power. Much like many other world leaders. So wikileaks dropping info on the US alone isn’t enough to allow them to stay, he knows he would be next on the leaking list.

 

So that strongly suggests Russia is getting some kind of favorable or special treatment. Its also likely that the CIA was already aware of this and that this is part of the information they base their claims of Russian interference on. When you see this alone its enough to strongly suggests collusion with the Russian government either directly or indirectly.

 

So it seems fairly sure to me that Wikileaks is now in bed with the Russian government in some form or fashion. Will we shortly discover that Mr. Chayanov is also connected to Guccifer2? 

Laurelai Bailey was an original Wikileaks activist.