Tag: FBI

Exclusive: Sources: Paul Manafort’s Secret Florida Storage Facility

Paul Manafort was put under surveillance by the FBI, according to CNN, in a story that confirms much of my earlier reporting on Mr. Manafort. CNN concedes that items were recovered from a storage facility owned by Manafort:

As part of the FISA warrant, CNN has learned that earlier this year, the FBI conducted a search of a storage facility belonging to Manafort. It’s not known what they found.

I had exclusively broken this news on August 5th on Twitter:

This was an addendum to my exclusive report, dated May 31, that Mr. Manafort’s apartment had been searched ‘by consent’ at Trump Tower by U.S. Marshals on Friday, 19th June, as soon as Air Force One went wheels-up taking Trump to Saudi Arabia. I reported then that this search found nothing, but, at the request of sources, did not say why.

I can now add to my reporting that this was because U.S. Marshals and the FBI knew that Mr. Manafort had transferred these items to a storage space he controls in Florida (journalists should note the location is not reported by WSJ). Sources familiar with the matter report the location was thought to be here:

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My own research located this facility as Document Storage Systems, Inc, of Juno Beach in Florida.

It is important to note that the Wall Street Journal has reported that the FBI had a warrant to read ‘electronically stored communications’ or emails after Manafort “left” the Trump campaign.

But armed with a warrant, investigators still could have conducted clandestine surveillance of Mr. Manafort, possibly by obtaining copies of his emails and other electronically stored communications, or by having agents follow him or conduct physical searches of his property.

This reporting tends to confirm my own reporting, namely that agents knew exactly where Manafort was storing paper documents or any electronic items he removed from his apartment. By October 15th, when the FISA warrants on money laundering from the two Russian banks were obtained, which included permission to intercept U.S. persons in relation to the inquiry – Manafort included – the FBI could also hear Mr. Manafort talking.

It is important to note that in saying that agents observed Manafort removing items to Florida, my sources did not exclude the possibility of Manafort having more than one storage space for more than one type of item. There may well have been others in Florida and in other states; but this, my sources reported, was one of them. Clearly the building is marked as a ‘document storage’ facility. Sources also said that electronic items, possibly servers, were removed from Mr. Manafort’s apartment in advance of the ‘by consent’ search on May 19th, and that these items were also stashed in a separate storage facility.

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Some more of our exclusive journalism:

Fun With FISA; The Trump Russia Treason Timeline

 

The Curious Case of the March for Truth And The Bulgarian Hacker

 

PIMPOTUS – Trump Models and Russia’s Human Traffickers

 

 

 

Fox News Under FBI Counterintelligence Investigation

Sources with links to the justice department report that Fox News is under an FBI counterintelligence investigation for co-ordinating with the Kremlin in broadcasting propaganda.

While the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and journalistic freedom, sources say that signals intelligence gathered from so-called ‘incidental collection,’ such as NSA collection on Sputnik and Russia Today,  which is ongoing.

Specifically, Sean Hannity is on signals intelligence co-ordinating his pro-Trump message with organs of the Russian state, such as RT, Sputnik, Wikileaks and Julian Assange. However, emails co-ordinating messaging with registered agents of the Russian state are said to exist from more shows than that of Sean Hannity.

Furthermore, sources familiar with the matter say that the FBI is actively considering a referral to the FCC, in addition to any criminal prosecutions that may result for individuals not registering under FARA for coordinating with official agents of the Russian state.

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A great many of Fox News’ employees, anchors and executives have reported fearlessly on Trump and Russia, including Shep Smith. The problems appear to be executive based and systemic, these sources say, and a referral to the FCC is being considered. The First Amendment protects journalistic freedom, but systemic and repeated coordination with official organs of the Russian state is regarded as knowing collaboration with an enemy attack on America. Referral to the FCC is an option under consideration at a corporate level, sources report, and prosecutions for chief malicious actors, in particular Sean Hannity, are probable, these sources say.

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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.

 

Naveed Jamali Tweets He Was a Source on the FISA Warrant Story

On Nov 7th, the eve of the election, I published at Heat Street a detailed story on a FISA warrant* granted against two Russian banks.

This story was a world exclusive. It was also given to me just before the election and published when it could make no real difference to the outcome.

What it could do, however, was warn bad actors involved with the two banks that they were now under investigation by the FBI. At the time of reporting, I did not even myself understand exactly what a FISA warrant meant, nor its extreme secrecy.

The FISA warrant was confirmed by Paul Wood of the BBC in a lengthy and detailed exclusive on Russia two months later.

As a journalist I will always protect my sources. If, however, a source wishes to broadcast publicly that they were a source, that is a freedom of speech, first amendment issue that is up to them.

Even under pressure, and after quarreling with Mr. Jamali, I have never revealed him as a source. Had he not decided to tweet that he was a source, I would remain under that obligation today.

I stood up my story with a second source whose identity is unknown to Mr. Jamali. The journalist Lloyd Grove at the Daily Beast, who wrote a hit piece on me attempting to debunk the FISA and Trump Russia stories, just before Director Comey admitted Trump was being investigated, said to me he needed to “put it to me” that the former CIA agent and hero Evan McMullin was a source, because that is what Naveed Jamali told him. Jamali has also repeatedly tweeted that my source was the 20 year veteran of the NSA John Schindler.

Both of those allegations are total lies. They are the more dishonorable, because Mr. Jamali knows perfectly well that he himself was a FISA warrant source.

Last week, Jamali misread one of my tweets, in which I denied that Evan McMullin was a source of mine. Mr. McMullin has never been a source of mine on any story whatsoever, for the avoidance of doubt. He is a patriot, who would no sooner leak classified intelligence than he would fly to the moon.

The FISA court operates in secrecy. After a Presidential election, there is a transition team with access to its information. Before the election, there are fewer people with access. Mr. Jamali is (I think) still a reservist in Naval intelligence. He was highly unlikely to have had access to the detailed information that I published on November 7th. He told me, for this story, who his own sources were. I have described whom Jamali alleged told him his information in a formal report to the FBI. (I believe that allegation to be sensitive and will not publish it. ) I could not, and would not, have been able to make this report, without his actual public admission on Twitter, which released me from my obligation of confidentiality towards him.

Previously, Jamali had tweeted that he began talking to me about the FISA court in the summer (false) but that he had passed on ‘rumor’.  This would seem to be not legal for a serving reservist in intelligence, but Jamali tweeted that this is what he had done.

Mr. Grove, for his Daily Beast piece, said to me that Jamali had said he was my source but described it as ‘gossip and rumor’. At around that time, Jamali was admitting only to often talking to me about FISA in the summer, however, and was, in essence, denying he was the source for the story.  It is a matter of public record, as I told Grove, that if Jamali was (as he earlier claimed) passing on ‘gossip and rumor’ about FISA in the summer, that I did not publish such ‘gossip and rumor’. The date on my story, which is detailed, accurate, and which has since been verified by the BBC, is November 7th – the eve of the election, and far away in time from ‘the summer’.

No matter what revolting disinformation was being pushed on McMullin and Schindler, nonetheless, I was not going to reveal a source who did not choose to be revealed, at any price. However, Mr. Jamali misread a tweet in which I denied Evan McMullin was my source. Jamali thought that, instead, I had denied that HE was my source, and did one of his patented emoticons as he insisted that I should give him his full props for being a ‘double agent’ and a FISA warrant source. Mr. Jamali has never been an agent of either America or of Russia, but when he insists that he was a source for my FISA warrant story, I am certainly happy enough to validate his public tweeting on that matter.

Naveed .jpeg

 

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* subsequent information has now come to light that there were two warrants, one per bank, granted on the same day. Paul Wood of the BBC reported exclusively that the date they were granted was October 15th.

More of our reporting:

Comey’s FBI Computer Illegally Accessed: Data Given to Russian Diplomats

Exclusive: Sources close to the intelligence community report that Director Comey’s FBI computer was illegally accessed immediately after he was dismissed from his post. They further report that ‘removable media’ was used in the commission of this crime. ‘Removable media’ is a category describing physical devices that can be placed into a computer, either to download information or to upload it, such as a memory card, a USB stick, a removable hard drive, a thumb drive or similar items.

Sources further report that a person or persons allied to Donald Trump passed data accessed from Director Comey’s computer to Russian diplomats. It is not known when or how this took place. A piece of removable media containing all the data in question has been recovered from hostile actors, sources say, and is now in the possession of the Justice Department.

Director Comey is said to have known in advance that Mr. Trump would dismiss him. He took careful steps, these sources say, to leave not only a paper trail as we have seen in the story of the ‘Comey Memo’ but also a digital one. Director Comey’s own primary work computer, and other computers in and around his former office, were fitted with sophisticated intelligence community software allowing the Justice Department to see precisely how and when they were attacked.

comey fired

The official Foreign Ministry of Russia’s Twitter account posted a tweet showing Foreign Minister Lavarov laughing with Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State who has won the Order of Friendship of Vladimir Putin, over Director Comey’s firing, on the day Donald Trump hosted the Russians in the White House and verbally gave them top-secret allied intelligence, later published by the Russian news agency Tass.

White House sources say Trump has already discussed his resignation more than once. Perhaps when he discovers that the justice and intelligence communities are well aware he breached Director Comey’s computer and handed FBI data to Russia, he may decide to spare the nation further trauma and resign.

If he becomes President, Mike Pence will be unable to pardon Donald Trump for any crimes at the state level.

More on this story as we receive it.

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Read more of Patribotics breaking coverage here:

Exclusive: FBI No Longer GLOMAR-ing on Politicized Leaks to Giuliani

Today my lawyers Brad Moss and Mark S. Zaid, received the following email from the FBI’s lawyers:

The FBI advises that it no longer intends to rely on a Glomar response with respect to your request regarding information leaked to Rudy Giuliani.  The FBI is currently considering your request in light of the testimony you referenced and hopes to be able to provide a response in the near future.

 

We will be in touch with more information as it becomes available.

The request to which they refer, is the lawsuit that I jointly filed with the James Madison project on December 20th, 2016, over non-response to a FOIA request of Nov 30th, 2016.

The lawsuit was reported at the time in the Hill and Politico. Patriot lawyers Mark and Brad represent me and the James Madison Project, pro bono.

Our lawsuit refers to, inter alia, politicized leaks from the FBI to Rudy Giuliani:

COUNT SIX – FBI

47. By letter dated November 30, 2016, JMP submitted to FBI a FOIA request. The FOIA request specifically sought copies of records, including cross-references, memorializing crime reports filed regarding, investigations conducted into and/or disciplinary or legal actions taken as a result of unauthorized leaks of U.S. Government information to non-U.S. Government individuals.

  1.   Information or documentation provided directly or indirectly to Mr. Giuliani;
  2.   Information or documentation provided directly or indirectly to LTG Flynn;
  3.   Information or documentation provided to unauthorized third parties regarding the investigations into alleged mishandling of classified information by Secretary Clinton and/or her senior aides;
  4.   Information or documentation provided to unauthorized third parties regarding the investigations into alleged criminal actions by the Clinton Foundation; and
  5.   Information or documentation provided to unauthorized third parties regarding the investigation into a computer server linking Trump Tower to a Russian financial institution.

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In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, James Comey responded to a question about the leaks that named Giuliani:

LEAHY: Let me ask you this. During your investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, a number of surrogates like Rudy Giuliani claimed to have a pipeline to the FBI. He boasted that, and I quote, numerous agents talk to him all the time. (Inaudible) regarding the investigation. He even said that he had — insinuated he had advanced warning about the emails described in your October letter. Former FBI agent Jim Kallstrom made similar claims.

Now, either they’re lying, or there’s a serious problem within the bureau. Anybody in the FBI during this 2016 campaign have contact with Rudy Giuliani about — about the Clinton investigation?

COMEY: I don’t know yet. But if I find out that people were leaking information about our investigations, whether it’s to reporters or to private parties, there will be severe consequences.

LEAHY: Did you know of anything from Jim Kallstrom?

COMEY: Same answer. I don’t know yet.

LEAHY: Do you know any about — from other former agents?

COMEY: I don’t know yet. But it’s a matter that I’m very, very interested in.

LEAHY: But you are looking into it?

COMEY: Correct.

The FBI is, therefore, about to send us a response which won’t say “we can neither confirm nor deny” this.

Obviously, I cannot be certain what the FBI’s lawyers will tell our lawyers. But there is a parallel instance where Jason Leopold of Vice made a FOIA request to the FBI over an investigation into Trump’s comments in July: “Russia, if you’re listening….” as he called for Russia to release Clinton’s emails.

The FBI response to that changed after Comey’s first testimony. Their reply now includes these paragraphs:

One of Plaintiffs’ requests to the FBI (the “Russia Request”) sought “any and all records, including investigative records,” referring to the following statements attributed to then-candidate, now-President Trump on July 27, 2016: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” 

 

 

“the FBI expects that virtually all, if not all, of the documents responsive to the Russia Request will be exempt from disclosure in their entirety under Exemption 7(A), which applies to law-enforcement records the disclosure of which “could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.

“10. Because of the existence of an active, ongoing investigation, the FBI anticipates that it will assert Exemption 7(A), on a categorical basis, to withhold all records that are responsive to the Russia Request, because releasing any responsive records (or portions thereof) “could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

This does appear to confirm there is an active investigation into Donald Trump’s request to Russia to release Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Republicans on the various committees have concentrated on alleged “leaks” from law enforcement about the Russia probe, going on about their supposed criminality. They may well find themselves unpleasantly surprised when rogue FBI agents, leaking to Trump campaign senior adviser Rudy Giuliani, prove to be under investigation  – if indeed that is what their response tells us.

We don’t yet know if it will.

It was these comments of Giuliani’s that prompted his inclusion in our FOIA request:

Rudy Giuliani said Friday that he knew the FBI planned to review more emails tied to Hillary Clinton before a public announcement about the investigation last week, confirming that the agency leaked information to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

……

Last week, however, Giuliani said, “The other rumor that I get is that there’s a kind of revolution going on inside the FBI…. I know that from former agents. I know that even from a few active agents.”

So, which is it? Does Giuliani get leaks from active FBI agents or doesn’t he?

The James Madison Project and I are hoping to find out the answer to that question soon.

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EXCLUSIVE: Sealed Indictment granted against Donald Trump

By Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor

Separate sources with links to the intelligence and justice communities have stated that a sealed indictment has been granted against Donald Trump.

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While it is understood that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution means that, until Mr. Trump is impeached, he cannot be prosecuted, sources say that the indictment is intended by the FBI and prosecutors in the Justice Department to form the basis of Mr. Trump’s impeachment. The indictment is, perhaps uniquely, not intended or expected to be used for prosecution, sources say, because of the constitutional position of the President.

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