Tag: Devin Nunes

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.

Editor’s Note:

Patribotics hopes to expand reporting and commission other writers. If you would like to donate, there are buttons around the site, or you could make a contribution here. 

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

Advertisements

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.

Editor’s Note: Donations and Whistleblowing

Patribotics hopes to expand reporting and commission other writers. If you would like to donate, there are buttons around the site, or you could make a contribution here.  If whistleblowers wish to contact patribotics they are encouraged to get in touch on Twitter, or via the contact form elsewhere on this site.

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 July 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.

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 July 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 July 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.