Category: Comey Day

EXCLUSIVE: Sessions Ordered Two Comey Memos; Rosenstein Will Not Recuse

Exclusive: According to sources with links to the Justice Department and intelligence community, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was ordered by Russian hacking suspect, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to write two separate memos regarding Director Comey; one that argued for Comey’s strengths as FBI Director and the second, which Sessions used in his obstruction of justice to fire Director Comey.

This means that it is Jeff Sessions who is directly responsible for obstructing justice by misusing Rosenstein’s pro and con Comey memos, and not Donald Trump. The Deputy Attorney General made a point of saying that even in his ‘negative’ memo, he would not recommend that Donald Trump fire Director Comey. On the night James Comey was fired by Trump, using the Sessions memos, Rosenstein had to be persuaded not to resign himself, so angered was he that Jeff Sessions had tricked him and misused only one of his two memos.

However, DAG Rosenstein was persuaded that it would be madness to resign and allow a right-wing partisan loyal to Trump, and only confirmed on a party-line vote, take his position overseeing the inquiry. Sessions had been forced to recuse, and the game was now to eliminate Rosenstein. Instead, the Deputy Attorney General immediately appointed Special Counsel Mueller, and left any decisions on recusals to him.

As I reported on Twitter at the time, both Andy McCabe and Rod Rosenstein had Director Comey’s full confidence – and they still do.

The concerted effort to concoct a forced recusal – which will not happen – is seen by sources as a push from Russian interests using selected commentators in the US media, some of whom may not realize they are being used in this way, because only one of the Rosenstein “Comey Memos” was ever used (and abused) by Jeff Sessions.

Sources say that the USIC has indeed long been playing a game of chess with Mr. Putin. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham confirmed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, these sources say, deliberately in order to trap both Trump and Sessions. Both men were well aware of the “conflicts” Sessions had with Russia, and Senator McCain, who gave to US intelligence a much fuller version of the Steele Dossier, in particular, knew some of the reported signals intelligence on meetings Sessions had had with pro-Russian lobbyists. By confirming Sessions as Attorney General they removed him from the Russia inquiry, and this was deliberate.

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Sources with links to the intelligence community report deep anger at what is seen as a push by the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has both close ties to Vladimir Putin and funds PR companies in the United States, to push for the forced “recusal” of DAG Rosenstein on spurious grounds that he is a “witness” to obstruction of justice by Donald Trump. Donald Trump tried to boost the flagging  ‘recusal’ narrative in the mainstream media by tweeting:

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

Of course, this is exactly the tactic Trump tried to use against Judge Curiel in the Trump University case. Trump tried to catfish Curiel into recusal by tweets and abuse:

I have a judge in the Trump University civil case, Gonzalo Curiel (San Diego), who is very unfair. An Obama pick. Totally biased-hates Trump

The pattern of calling bias, adding insults and generally creating smoke in order to remove a ‘troublesome priest’ is both annoying and ineffective, Justice Department sources say. Sources pointed out that DAG Rosenstein had already set out the legally correct position – he would recuse himself if Mueller, not Trump, decided he needed to do so. Thus, any recusal would only be determined by the Special Counsel.

It is plain to see that Mr. Trump would always be able to cherry-pick Justice Department and other third branch personnel if he were able to force them into recusal merely by picking a quarrel with them, these sources say. Special Counsel Mueller is unmoved by media parlor games incited by Mr. Deripaska, who is currently, whether he knows it or not, under the spotlight by the United States Intelligence Community, who resent Putin’s ongoing attempted intervention in their work.

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Russian Ambassador Kislyak’s Phone Hacked by Five Eyes

Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak’s phone was both hacked and turned into a ‘hot mike’ for recording conversations by a Five Eyes intelligence agency,

Sources with links to Western intelligence report that a similar ‘SS7’ exploit as that used by consent on the phones of James Comey, and other FBI agents, by the FBI and Justice Department, was placed on the phone of Sergei Kislyak – most certainly without consent – and that the Russian Ambassador to the US not only had his phone bugged, but that his phone was being used as a microphone to record those with whom he was speaking.

Sources do not say when the exploit was placed on Kislyak’s phone. One source speculated that Ambassador Kislyak had only survived in his position in America ‘because of optics’.

The Five Eyes intelligence agreement prevents members of the world’s premier intelligence alliance – America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – from spying on each other’s territories and citizens. However, crucially, embassies, such as those of Ecuador in London and Russia in Washington DC, are regarded as sovereign territory of their native countries. The NSA is free to spy within the Ecuadorean embassy in London, and GCHQ, its British equivalent, is free to spy within Russia’s embassy in DC. The Five Eyes alliance is the closest intelligence partnership in the world. Recently Canada assisted DGSE, France’s CIA, in spying on Rebel Media on behalf of M. Macron, the then French Presidential candidate. Sources report that both the FBI, NSA and Britain’s GCHQ assisted Canada in this operation, because of the involvement of the Trump-Russia partisan Jack Posobiec.

In his testimony to the Senate today, Jeff Sessions, who as Patribotics reported in February, was a suspect in the Trump Russia hack, suddenly changed his tune, admitting that he “might have” had a conversation with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel.

As I reported exclusively earlier this year, Page, Manafort, Epshteyn and Kislyak, along possibly with Donald Trump himself, were recorded by US intelligence discussing the tape promising a policy shift in exchange for help with the elections, at the Mayflower. If Sessions was there, he was recorded too. Sources with links to the U.S. intelligence community now report that the group of men played the tape that was to be played in Moscow by Page and then, literally, had a discussion about trading it for hacking help, a discussion which is in the possession of US intelligence. It is not known however if this tape was recorded via a Five Eyes SS7 exploit placed on Mr. Kislyak’s phone, or by normal surveillance of any Russian Ambassador on US soil that is always carried out by the American authorities.

Sources with links to Western intelligence would not give any details of when the exploit was placed or how long it had lasted.

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Sources with links to US intelligence confirmed, as I exclusively reported on Patribotics, that Speaker Paul Ryan was taped speaking to Sergei Kislyak at the GOP Convention, as was Reince Priebus, agreeing to accept laundered or ‘dark’ Russian funds for the GOP. Sources with links to the Justice Department earlier confirmed that a RICO case is being prepared against the entire Republican party on the basis of Russian money and intelligence, in the form of Wikileaks stories, being given to it as a body. Director Comey, who consensually allowed the SS7 exploit on his phone, testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Jeff Sessions would always have had to recuse himself on the Russia inquiry because serious concerns were known to him, Comey, about Sessions’ conduct with Russia.

Mr. Sessions has always been a prime suspect in the Trump Russia inquiry, long before he was nominated as Attorney General, as I reported in February on the day of his confirmation. He will now be wondering – along with the Russians – just how much intelligence Five Eyes has managed to gather, and for how long, from Mr. Kislyak’s phone.

Western intelligence sources said that their motives for speaking on background on this matter were to warn Mr. Trump and his associates that further covering up or attacks on the U.S. intelligence community, particularly on Director Comey’s integrity, would not be tolerated. Laws governing intelligence ‘leaks’ or whistleblowing do not apply to the sovereign allies of the United States, many of whom, both inside and outside Five Eyes, have hard signals intelligence on Donald Trump and his family. DGSE, who as a NATO ally outside Five Eyes are not prevented from spying on Americans by treaties, have recordings of Donald Trump Jr speaking to Russian intelligence in France, as one example.

Multiple, separate sources with links to the intelligence communities of more than one nation, used the phrase ‘gloves off’ when describing the situation with Russia and Trump. Vladimir Putin has attempted to intervene in Brexit, in the French election and in elections all over Europe, and has personally exposed all of Russia, and that nation’s economy, to the intense rage of the far richer and more powerful Western world. Understanding the principle of ‘deniabilty,’ intelligence sources inside and outside the US intelligence community have suggested that leaks of information by allied nations may serve US intelligence by freeing them from blowing the whistle themselves. Sources linked to one specific Five Eyes intelligence partner noted that ‘deniability’ is designed to allow witnesses to tell the truth on the stand. If, theoretically, British intelligence sources were to disclose information on Mike Flynn – as retired MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove did to the Financial Times – US intelligence would not be consulted, even through a back channel, these sources said.

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Sources reported that Director Comey was regarded with affection throughout allied intelligence, and that Donald Trump’s scornful attitude towards NATO – since Trump is perceived as a mere proxy of Russia, without thought or direction of his own, by the west – has enraged allied intelligence services, who are more than prepared to judiciously release intelligence at strategic times (such as Mr. Sessions’ testimony) to make it clear that Russia and Trump standing in the way of the FBI and Director Mueller’s inquiry will not be tolerated.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Director Comey Legally Taped Calls, Meetings With Trump

EXCLUSIVE: Sources with links to the Justice Department confirm that U.S. intelligence has legal copies of all Donald Trump’s “tapes” of his meetings with Director Comey – and that Comey had his own phone legally hacked in order to record suspects, including Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr, for over a year.

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On June 9th, in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of New York, Judge Orenstein slapped down Jeff Sessions as he attempted to force the service provider on James Comey’s phone to assist Sessions with continuing an SS7 exploit placed there by the consent of James Comey, and lawfully, in order to help Comey in his criminal investigation of Donald Trump and Russia.

Separate sources with links to the intelligence and justice communities are clear that the ‘witness’ in this case is James Comey, the ‘software solution’ is the SS7 exploit used on his phone by consent, and that his phone was recording, again, by consent, and as part of a lawful criminal investigation that included Donald Trump, all his conversations for well over a year. This would mean that the FBI had essentially used Director Comey’s cell phone to monitor suspects in the Trump Russia case since before the beginning of June, 2016. This is very, very bad news for Mr. Trump.  If Trump, as he is openly threatening, prepares to fire Special Counsel Mueller, parts of these tapes may be leaked to the general public. The court case itself, with the names of the witness and his cell phone provider redacted, is open, public record, but sources linked to the intelligence community have confirmed the witness to be Director Comey, giving the document an extraordinary significance.

First we can see that the ‘hot mike’ phone was provided to Director Comey by Federal Agents, in or before the summer of 2016, as part of a criminal investigation, and in order to assist him in that investigation:

As part of an investigation into suspected criminal activity, the government has secured the agreement of the Witness to engage in monitored communications with subjects of the investigation. Beginning over a year ago, agents provided the Subject Telephone to the Witness, who in turn provided written consent to the interception and recording of all calls made and received over that device

Second, we can see that Director Comey had renewed his written consent on this ‘several months later’ and again just two days before Trump fired him. The day after this consent was renewed, Comey interviewed Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump about the Kelhios botnet operating out of Trump Tower, which they both had knowledge of.  This conversation too was legally recorded and likely was the immediate spur for Trump to obstruct justice by firing Comey.

The Witness again provided written consent to the monitoring of the Subject Telephone several months later, and then did so a third time two days ago; in this most recent writing, according to the government, the Witness again committed “not [to] allow third parties to use the telephone.” Id. at 7 & Ex. A.3

It is clear that the government, by which we mean Jeff Sessions, submitted to the court that he needed help finding out how Director Comey’s cell phone had been monitored as the “software based solution” (ie, the SS7 hot mike of the phone) had been discontinued. Intelligence sources familiar with the matter were scornful of the idea that the consensual monitoring of Director Comey’s phone would be continued after he was fired for investigating Trump’s sons and the Kelhios botnet used in Russia’s hack of the U.S. election. (In point of fact, sources laughed aloud at the suggestion).

Until recently, the agents consensually monitored the Subject Telephone’s communications and location by using “a software-based solution” that did not require the Provider’s participation. Id. at 7 n.6. The government reports that the latter product was recently “discontinued” without explaining how that discontinuance renders the product it was already using ineffective (although I assume that it must be so).

The translation of this passage is that intelligence agents who consensually hacked the phone switched off their exploit the second Trump fired Comey, and Jeff Sessions was whining to the court that he could not get back in.

In the dry language of the ruling, judge Orenstein told Sessions that Comey was using this exploit to investigate a crime and that hacking his phone without consent was completely unnecessary. He told Sessions to go and boil his head.

The third discretionary factor is necessity. In N.Y. Tel. Co., the Supreme Court observed that “without the Company’s assistance there is no conceivable way in which the surveillance authorized by the District Court could have been successfully accomplished.” 434 U.S. at 175. The record before me shows no such necessity. The government has demonstrated only that for over a year, it was able to monitor the Witness’s communications over the Subject Telephone without the Provider’s assistance, and that the particular product it used to do so has been discontinued. It has not asserted, much less established, that there are no other alternatives available that will allow it to accomplish its investigative goal without forcing the Provider to furnish technical assistance against its will. The complete lack of any showing of necessity weighs heavily against the government.

The front-facing of Director Comey’s identity to Patribotics may be taken as a warning shot on Mueller. As I have previously reported, Donald Trump is under a criminal indictment, and Director Comey decided he himself might need to be fired in order to advance the narrative away from himself and towards Donald Trump’s criminal actions. Sources report the Articles of Impeachment being considered by the Judiciary Committee have now advanced further and the language of them is presently being worked upon for presentation to Congress, at which point, the criminal indictment granted against Trump will be made public.

Come for the Bishop, best not miss.

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Comey Day: ‘Meticulously Executed’ Testimony Was Counterintelligence Plan

Exclusive: Sources familiar with James Comey’s thinking say that today’s explosive testimony was planned in advance as part of the counterintelligence operation against Russia’s attack on the United States.

James Comey knew in advance he was going to be fired, these sources say, when Trump threatened him. At that point, the Director set in place countermeasures to protect the FBI”s investigation from Trump’s interference.

These included discussions with future key players at the Department of Justice and the FBI, these sources say, including Acting Director McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

It was further anticipated by Director Comey, these sources say, that the Trump team would both try to access FBI data and pass it to Russian intelligence. As we earlier reported exclusively, data from Director Comey’s computer was both taken by the Trump Team and passed to the Russians. The property of the United States was then recovered, these sources say. Separate sources with links to the Justice Department say, without being definitive, that it is thought that Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered an IT ‘audit’ of Director Comey’s electronics, and so the data may have been lawfully collected in a way that would not raise suspicions. Removable media containing data from Director Comey’s computer was then passed to the Russians, sources with links to the intelligence community confirm, adding that the said data has been recovered.

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Director Comey anticipated further both that Donald Trump would boast he had tapes on him, and that he, Comey, would be called to Congress to give the sensational testimony he has given today under oath. Comey is highly sensitized to the value of television and the news cycle, sources familiar with his thinking say. He had reluctantly become so, after understanding the crucial role the data laundering of Donald Trump played in the election. Comey therefore decided to wait until his live televised hearing to reveal some of his knowledge about the Russian hacking investigation to the public in order that its impact not be diminished. Indeed, with partisans of both parties seeking to blame Comey for their failures, the Director had become convinced that if he were not dismissed the investigation might focus too much on him and not enough on the foreign and domestic enemies of the United States. While he was angered at the manner of his firing, sources report, Director Comey regarded the situation with the dispassionate eye of a chess player sacrificing a rook to back his opponent into a corner. Both Donald Trump and his Russian handlers fell into line, up to and including their concentration on lines in yesterday’s written testimony, which catfished Russian partisans into repeating ‘obstruction of justice’ until the concept was firmly affixed in the public’s mind. This left Comey open to detailing how Trump obstructed justice without using the term, today.

Director Comey was able to tell the public, using the GLOMAR technique, that both Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are under criminal investigation for treason with Russia, and that both obstructed justice. Such a killer blow could not have been dealt – at least not so easily – had Trump and his Russian allies had the good sense to leave Director Comey to do his job.

 

 

 

Comey Day Cometh – Here’s What to Expect

James Comey is about to lay the smack down on Donald Trump. But it is important that patriotic Americans have an understanding of what may happen at a select committee hearing – given the appalling level of misunderstanding of Admiral Rodgers testimony yesterday.

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Obstruction of Justice – Reality

James Comey has clearly described obstruction of justice. He has described in terms Trump asking him to back off the Flynn investigation and demanding loyalty.

Obstruction of Justice – Trump Spin

James Comey doesnt say “obstruction of justice” so it didn’t happen.

In the hearing, do not expect James Comey to say ‘obstruction of justice’ happened. That is a judgement call.

Is Trump Under Investigation – Reality

Comey’s testimony letter shifts tenses. It states that at first Trump was not under investigation. However it also clearly says that Comey fully anticipated that this might change, and warned Trump against it. The shifting tenses of the past in the later parts of the memo imply that Trump was under investigation by the time he was dismissed.

Is Trump Under Investigation – Trump Spin

The Trump camp is trying to lie and spin that Comey early on saying that Trump himself was not under investigation at the start of his interactions means that he is not being investigated now, or that he will not be. This is a plain lie.

In the hearing, do not expect Director Comey to breach any classified protocols which would include stating that Trump is under investigation.

Did Admiral Rogers Excuse Trump – Reality

Hell no, he did not. He GLOMARed a message on National Security. Rogers is NSA – like Coats, his function is NATIONAL SECURITY.  Trump could not have “obstructed justice” by leaning on Rogers, but would have interfered with a national security investigation. This matter is, itself, a matter of National Security.

ONLY the FBI has a twin intelligence and law enforcement function. Obstruction of justice is inherent in Trump’s intervention with James Comey only.

Did Admiral Rogers Excuse Trump – Trump Spin

Trumpers were stupid enough to think that Rogers covered for Trump. He went silent on him like a submarine slipping behind the baffles of its quarry. As senior NSA John Schindler wrote in an exclusive, Rogers has issued an unprecedented ‘preserve evidence’ order and has held town halls at the NSA describing election hacking.

James Comey is, as I wrote in January, America’s white knight. He is a master chess player. He is not interested in Twitter plaudits. He will not give away anything on an ongoing criminal and national security investigation. He will describe facts – HOW Trump obstructed justice – and not make characterizations – “Trump obstructed justice”.

Nothing can stop the impeachment of Donald Trump that is presently ongoing. Comey is here today to stop the lies of Trump and his White House flunkies.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Devin Nunes Has Top Secret Clearance Revoked

Sources with links to the intelligence community report that Devin Nunes, the former leader of the Russia inquiry, and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee* has had his TS/SCI clearance revoked.

As we reported in April, Nunes obstructed justice when, in collusion with Michael Ellis, his former lawyer on the Intelligence Committee, he blurted out evidence in an ongoing criminal case.

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As we also reported, this evidence included revealing one White House staffer, Boris Epshteyn, was still under investigation. From that report:

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

Mr. Nunes still retains a security clearance, sources say. But he has been denied access to the most sensitive intelligence information. This is an extraordinary situation for a member of the House Intelligence Select Committee and reflects appallingly on Paul Ryan and on the House Oversight Committee, respectively the elected official and the Republican-led Committee responsible for ensuring the integrity of Congress.

In a later story we also reported exclusively that sources with links to the intelligence community said that Boris Epshteyn paid hackers from the Kelhios botnet on behalf of both the FSB, of which, these sources say, he is an agent, and Donald Trump. We will expand on this reporting later today. Mr. Epshteyn has emphatically denied he is an FSB agent. He has refused to answer our questions as to whether he is a registered agent of influence of the Russian state under FARA. Our report has been updated to reflect Mr. Epshteyn’s denials. Nevertheless, we continue to report what we have been told on the matter by sources with links to the intelligence community.

*correction – Mr. Nunes formerly led the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia inquiry. He is still (disgustingly) its Chairman, as tweeps have pointed out.

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EXCLUSIVE: Federal Marshals Execute Seizure Warrants At Trump Tower

Donald Trump Sealed Indictment Started With Eric Schneiderman

 

EXCLUSIVE: Federal Marshals Execute Seizure Warrants At Trump Tower

Sources with links to the intelligence community report that Federal Marshals executed two search and seizure warrants at Trump Tower on Friday, May 19.

One of the warrants covered an electronic storage space in Trump Tower. Several electronic items were seized as a result of this search.

Another of the warrants, sources report, was served on Paul Manafort’s apartment in Trump Tower.

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Unlike the first warrant, this warrant was served, sources say, with “consent.” That means that Mr. Manafort is almost certainly co-operating with Federal authorities.

The Trump Data team worked out of Trump Tower. Separate sources, with links to the intelligence and law enforcement communities, report that the FBI is looking at photographs posted publicly on  Twitter by members of that team that appear to show a Python server connection loading on the screens of one of the Trump data team workers.

These same sources have confirmed my April reporting that the Russian Alfa Bank server, with an ip address in Trump Tower, was communicating with Russia and Spectrum Health, and that it was ‘washing’ hacked U.S. State voter database information with the social media ‘fake news’ botnet for micro-targeting to voters. There will be a separate piece of analysis on how this might relate to the ‘electronic devices’ that were seized on Friday afternoon, 19 May. Sources report that this was done ‘very quietly’, in an attempt to evade detection by the press.

The servers and data in Trump Tower, and the items taken from Manafort’s apartment, may form part of the “secure communications channel” that Kushner wanted to establish with Russia. I broke on November 7th that a FISA warrant had been secured on any US person’ in relation to two Russian banks, Alfa Bank – with whom the server was communicating – and SVB Bank. SVB Bank, which had a deal with Sberbank, is implicated in the meeting Kushner had with Gorkov. Further to that, Avi Berkowitz, who was on the Trump Data team, working with Boris Epshteyn and Brad Parscale, formed a go-between for Kushner and the Russian Ambassador.

My earlier exclusive report stated that the Kelhios botnet for which the Russian hacker Pyotr Levashov was indicted, was run out of Trump Tower with a ‘command and control server.’

The Trump sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., were interviewed by the FBI, sources say, the day before James Comey was fired. This is because, sources linked to the intelligence and law enforcement communities say, they are suspected of being complicit in the Kelhios botnet’s repurposing to service and pay both pro-Russia and pro-Trump Twitter and facebook bots, but also to deliver ‘fake news’, loaded with malware, and to pay those spreading it through bitcoin transactions.

One of the reasons James Comey was illegally fired by Trump was that his investigation was at the point of interviewing Trump’s own sons. For the avoidance of doubt, White House sources report that Donald Trump himself is considered by investigators to be directly complicit in Russia’s hack of the American election, and Trump fears that the FBI has data-based evidence that will prove this.

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