Tag: featured

Carolina Conspiracy: Jack Posobiec and the Fakes that Forced Comey’s Hand

Editor’s Note:

In order not to slow the narrative of this report, I have put an important caveat at the bottom of this story concerning both the innocence of the real adult woman whose name Russia used in these profiles, who was almost 17 when Weiner’s crime was committed, and the presumably separate then 15 year old girl in the New York case whose name is sealed. I have no firm intelligence on the identity of Weiner’s 15 year old victim.

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The Carolina Conspiracy: Jack Posobiec, Kirstin Winfree, and the fake “Miranda Crowley”

On May 18th, an Air Force One Group Gulfstream GV landed at Charlotte, North Carolina. This is the kind of plane that normally transports Cabinet members. It is not known who was on the plane.

On May 20th, Anthony Weiner pled to a count of sexting with a girl who had not obtained 16 years old at the time of the offense.

On May 22nd, the Hill reprinted a story from WhoWhatWhy.com to following effect:

The teenage girl who had exchanged sexually explicit text messages with former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) lied about her age and political motivations to harm Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to a report by the investigative news site WhoWhatWhy.

In a report published Monday, the website said the girl who exchanged the messages with Weiner was closer to 17 and not 15, as initial reports said. That also puts her above the age of consent in North Carolina, which is 16.

I broke the story that Anthony Weiner was certainly sexting with a person or persons other than a 15 year old girl in ‘The Carolina Conspiracy’ in early March. A source close to Who What Why contacted me and stated that the girl in their report was the same person I had covered in my own reporting. Their report stated:

According to the media accounts of this story and Weiner’s plea deal, the girl “had not attained the age of 16 years.”

However, our research shows that the girl was in fact not “15 and a sophomore” as the Daily Mail reported, when she initiated contact with Weiner. A court record shows that she was just shy of her 17th birthday at the time she approached him.

My source told reported that this court document, which the site did not publish, was a traffic citation. When I put that to the owner of WhoWhatWhy, a conspiracy theorist who is anti the Bush family, Russ Baker, he stated he did not know what I was talking about.

But because the Hill reprinted the Who What Why story, I had begun to seek details myself. Everything else referred to in their report, such as faked social media profiles on the girl, I had already independently obtained in February and March. I held it back from my reporting only because I could not find an official document on which to rely.

I now have such a document and present this report on the intensive faked social media personae created over one “Miranda Crowley”. As I state below, I have no evidence other than the assertion of my source that the then 15 year old girl in the sealed court case in New York is named Miranda Crowley. It certainly could be an entirely different victim. That victim of Weiner’s must be different, for she is, the SDNY prosecutors assert, underage and the case is sealed.

Miranda Crowley, the real woman, is an adult of 18 years old, having attained her majority this spring.  When the sexting with Anthony Weiner began, in January of 2016, she was 16, over the age of consent in North Carolina. In March she turned 17, which is the legal age of consent in New York. Either, then, Anthony Weiner’s victim is a different person, a child, or the plea bargain is seriously awry. I make no assertions on the law; Weiner stipulates he thought he was sexting with an underage girl of 15 years which itself constitutes a crime, so clearly this is not about exculpating Weiner or blaming his victim. The question would be why is the plea deal false, stating that the victim was underage in North Carolina at the time of the offense? And what significance, if indeed there is any, is there to a Cabinet level Air Force One Group GV landing in North Carolina just before the plea deal was struck?

The story is not about the 15 year old victim of Weiner, nor about the real Miranda Crowley, but rather, about the concerted, provable Russian effort to ‘catfish’ Weiner with fakes and force the Comey letter which handed the election to Trump. Fake profiles, by definition, are just that. A letter full of passages from obscure adult books was written by adults. Russian-linked operatives and agents of influence boasted that adult males had carried out that hack on behalf of Russia. It is these fakes that this report addresses, and therefore, the accusations are leveled at a group of adult males and not the real young woman whose identity they stole and faked.

“Miranda Crowley” And the “Russian Hackers”

Before the election, innumerable social media profiles featuring the pictures of different girls were set up by hackers and social engineers in the name of “Miranda Crowley” showing a sophisticated effort to set up a completely fake person online with a hinterland of friends and relatives who also proved to be fake.

 

There were Twitter, Facebook and Ask.FM profiles. I spent weeks clicking through the friends lists on these public profiles to find relatives who also proved to be fakes. Some few examples of my voluminous list of “Miranda Crowley” accounts are here, here, here, and herebernie J.jpg. A fake account was set up on Facebook in the name of “her” “father” “Matthew Crowley” who worked as “U.S. Airways Training Center”. Click through to that august institution, however, and you came to this page (I was nothing if not thorough).

Tatiana J.jpg

Before Alanna Goodman wrote her story, one @Annierrobbins published, one month before, a tweet hinting at the Weiner hack. “Confide” was the app Weiner used to sext his victim.

AnnieRRobbins.jpeg

Subsequently, just after the James Comey letter was written, Kirstin Winfree claimed it was not a 15 year old girl that Weiner was sexting with but a “28 year old Bernie voting hacker.”

bernie J.jpg

She added “Who thought the Russians could play a sweet southern girl from Northern Carolina so well!” #Checkmate #HillarysEmail”

Kristin Winfree.jpeg

That does seem pretty suspicious, especially since Ms. Winfree has social media profiles with the name “Logan” in them, Crowley’s middle name. She is a huge partisan of Putin and Russia:

: Putin and Russia turned out to be one of America’s strongest and most stalwart allies in the months following 9/11.”

and regularly tweets out Russian propaganda sites like RT.com.

Well Hello Putin!!!!! Awesome Russian Air Force destroys ISIS command center, training camp (VIDEO) & thank you!!!

More importantly during the Comey letter period, Winfree was tweeting out propaganda created by Jack Posobiec, the Russian agent of influence who supports Trump. She was also in contact with Posobiec   

and the Russian hacker 0 hour, zero hour.

KJ.jpeg

Hackers.jpeg

Posobiec, who was employed by Rebel Media, openly admitted to his role in accessing and publishing hacked “Macron Leak” emails.

At the time of the Carolina Letter, he was boasting of knowledge of the corrupt FBI investigators.

Posobiec certainly seemed to think at the time that Comey was forced into reopening the investigation. He boasted of NSA traitors who had hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and gave them to Assange. He cited Guliani, who was boasting of active FBI agents demanding this, and boasted of FBI sources himself.

FBI Source: Agents knew of emails weeks before Comey did

Interestingly, Posobiec tweets first about Wiener in 2013. He is also now linking Erik Prince of Blackstone to the case. Sources with links to the intelligence community have suggested to me that Prince and Oleg Deripaska may both be involved in the social media operation around “Miranda Crowley”.

Mr. Deripaska owns Endeavor, the PR agency, and one Mr. Adam Waldman was registered under FARA as an agent for him at one time. A “warning” which I print here as delivered to me, and which I regard as a threat, was sent to me about this specific story.

NSA friend is yet again worried about your safety because of the Deripaska stories. They said to be VERY careful and they assume you know the risks, but Deripaska is unlikely to go to jail once all is said and done, so if you ruin business for him bc of your revelations, then you and family may become his targets. They said to be extremely careful just for this reason. your info is correct of course, but they’re worried about your safety.

Mr. Deripaska had been said by some sources to be connected to the Daily Mail story on the ’15 year old girl’. I put that in scare quotes not because I assert the girl in the New York case, the victim, is not the age that prosecutors in the Southern District of New York say that she is, but because the girl in the story did not write the email to Weiner that they claimed.

Further, the real Miranda Crowley is 18 years old. Her traffic citation has been published on a public crimebusters website. This may or may not be a reliable source. However, I have in my possession from sources close to the matter, an official document from the Secretary of State in North Carolina, relating to her voter registration, which matches the age of 18 found on that alleged copy of her traffic citation.

Cracka.jpeg

The many fake Miranda Crowleys, often laden with references to CWA the hacking crew, are almost certainly as Ms. Winfree said the creations of Russians and nothing to do with the real young woman in question here.

Mc55

The interesting thing about the “AnnieRRobbins” account is its connection to the first time Mr. Weiner was sexting and was hacked. The New York Times reported in 2011 that fake twitter accounts were used to catfish Weiner back then.

At least three months before the revelation that former Representative Anthony D. Weiner was sending lewd messages and photos to women online, a small group of self-described conservatives was monitoring his exchanges with women on Twitter. Now there is evidence that one or more people created two false identities on Twitter in order to collect information to use against him.

A Twitter user employing a fake name posed as a 16-year-old California high school girl in May and tried to get Mr. Weiner to be her prom date, according to people with knowledge of the communications and a review of documents. The person behind another Twitter account created under a fake name claimed to be her classmate and offered to provide the group with incriminating evidence about Mr. Weiner.

At that time, a fake account looking like nothing so much as a modern Putinbot, Dan Wolfe, was also tweeting out hints.

Dan-Wolfe-tweet-500x233.jpg

I have asked Michael Anton of the White House if he, formerly of Breitbart, was “Annie R Robbins”. The account is linked to a bitter blog about Ms. Robbins, a liberal Jewish personality, by one “Apollo Speaks”. As “Publius”, Mr. Anton wrote extensively at Breitbart about Anthony Weiner during his first fall from grace. I very much suspect Anton of having repeated his obnoxious pattern here; fake accounts, Latin aliases, cowardly anonymous attacks, and first hand knowledge of a hack on Weiner. He has declined to reply to my email thus far.

My first blog on this story, ‘the Carolina Conspiracy’, lists the pseudo-intellectual tripe of obscure books that the “15 year old girl” put into “her” email to Anthony Weiner. It does not fit any young teen but does fit Mr. Anton’s fifth-rate pseudo-intellectualism. I await his comment.

I will report further, in later articlesm on the role of CWA, the hacking crew of persona management experts, about Mr. Nikulin, the Russian hacker who was picked up in Prague on a charge of hacking Formspring, Anthony Weiner’s old sexting app, and other persons who may have played a part in it. I will also add further links and screenshots to the evidence listed in this story.

Miranda Crowley profiles

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Note: Weiner’s 15 year old victim and the real Miranda Crowley

In March I published ‘The Carolina Conspiracy’, a piece asserting my theory that Anthony Wiener was ‘sexting’ with Russian hackers and not with a 15 year old girl.

Following Wiener’s plea deal to one count of the charges laid against him in the Southern District of New York, I appended a correction to that piece, and this correction, for the moment, still stands. Weiner pled guilty to a charge that did amount to ‘sexting’ with a 15 year old girl. The name of that girl is sealed because according to the charge, she is a minor.

At the moment, I must stress that I have no evidence before me to prove that the underage girl in the sealed complaint is the same person as the one on whom I am about to report.

The woman whose real name was used for the fake media profiles in this story is “Miranda Crowley”. She was almost 17 during the three months Weiner’s crime was committed, so, at present, I must assume that the 15 year old girl to which the New York court case refers is another person.

Further, nothing in this report is intended to suggest that the real young adult whose name was used by Russian hackers in this operation. Clearly the premise of the story is that fake social media profiles were used by adult Russian hackers. None of this open source material on the fake “Miranda Crowleys” is to be attributed to Miranda Crowley, the real person.

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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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DAUGHTERGATE: Ivanka Trump Scrubbed From Trump Poker Shell Companies

New financial disclosures reported by Donald Trump show Ivanka Trump’s name being scrubbed from shell companies related to online gambling. Sources with links to the intelligence community and separate sources with links to the White House say that these companies were designed to disguise Russian payments and money-laundering. They further point, these sources say, to the fact that the Kelhios botnet – which was used in Russia’s hack on the American election – was run by a command and control server working from Trump Tower, with the full knowledge of Eric Trump.

Ivanka has been linked to eleven companies in the Trump financial disclosures. Her status has been put to “Inactive” on several odd holding companies, including:

and others. The most immediately interesting company of Ivanka Trump’s is “Poker Venture Managing Member Corp“.  This is owned by Donald and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka’s company with her father itself is an officer of this very dodgy-looking shell, “Poker Venture LLC.” Judging by the corporation wiki, there is panic in Team Ivanka and Team Trump over “Poker Venture“.  It shows zero “Key People”, and has two other almost identical companies as its officers – the live, active PVMMC that Ivanka co-owns with her pops, and this “Inactive” attempt to clean Ivanka out of the picture: by: Poker Venture Managing Member Corp by: Donald J. Trump.

Those touring “Corporation Wiki” will be surprised to see that “Poker Venture Managing Member Corp by: Donald J Trump” lists itself as an officer of inactive “Poker Venture”, yet when one clicks on the gray icon, one is taken to the same active company.

All very strange. Why are Ms. Trump’s shell companies having a panic? What does it matter if she is directly connected to Trump International Hotel Management (which she is) through TIHM? Why is “Poker Ventures” suddenly showing as both active and inactive simultaneously?

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Sources with links to the intelligence community say that the disassociation with the TIHM is because Trump Hotels and Eric Trump are linked to the Kelhios botnet, which was run with a command and control server out of Trump Tower with the full knowledge of Eric and Donald Trump, and also of course, of Ivanka Trump, whose husband Jared was talking to the Russian Ambassador in the Russian Embassy about secret communications with Russia.

Poker Venture Managing Member Corp is a Nevada company. On the Nevada Secretary of State’s website, it shows an odd filing history. The company was formed in 2012, filed an annual listing in 2013 and 2014; no documents are listed for 2015, but two appear two years later, on August 4 2016.  However, the official Nevada listing shows PVMMC being cancelled on May 22, 2017.

Equally odd is that the state of New Jersey   – (Ivanka Trump has a New Jersey address listed as one of her business records, associated with Poker Ventures) – has added to its newly published list of “Internet Gaming Ancillary Companies”  both Poker Ventures LLC, which was already listed, but also “Novacorp Net Ltd”, “VidMob Inc” and “Reblaze Technologies”.  VidMob Inc, a video company, appears to have a Russian developer on its github, Sergey Shpuntov, whose activity appears to be locked on GitHub; Novacorp Net appears to be associated with a credit card company whose records have been scrubbed (but not well enough); while Reblaze Technologies appears to be coded by Russo-Israelis. Russian Israeli.jpeg

Much worse, Reblaze Technologies does not appear to have much to do with “ancillary services for internet gambling” in NJ – rather, it publishes anti-NSA blogs such as these, lauding the ‘hacking tools’ leaked by Shadow Brokers. Reblaze also offers lists of “protect your website” services you can buy from Russian hackers [sic], listing, ostensibly to protect against them, the full range of tools employed on Russia’s hack of America; its founder repeated the anti-NSA blog in an article that reads as a threat to hack America on Medium in December 2016.

Despite this, even the most secretive malware usually gets exposed eventually.

A great example of this occurred in August: ‘Powerful NSA hacking tools have been revealed online’. As the article explained, “some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency’s elite group of hackers” were stolen by illicit hackers and placed up for auction, for any cybercriminal in the world to buy.

Put all of these together – Novacorp, VidMob and Reblaze, as brand new additions to New Jersey’s “ancillary internet gambling companies” and you see three Russian companies involved, sources allege, with the Kelhios botnet, the direct Russian hack on American voter registries and the DNC, and malware delivered via the Kelhios botnet, that are now trying to cover themselves by pretending to have something to do with “online gambling”. Sources suggest that all three directly relate to Ivanka Trump’s “Poker Ventures” company with her father, which is listed on the same sheet. The state document says:

The following companies have filed completed applications to provide ancillary services for Internet gaming. Preliminary examination of the filings allows for these companies to enter into agreements with casino licensees and Internet gaming permit holders.

It is not therefore much of a leap to imagine – though sources were not specific on this point – that Novacorp, VidMob and Reblaze have been discovered to have been paid by a Trump company, and that their late additions to the New Jersey filing are an attempt to provide a figleaf over other “services” that they did provide.

On the wider reason for the cover-up on Ivanka, sources suggested patribotics was being pointed to specific documents because Trump is threatening to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Patience for Trump’s obstruction is wearing thin, sources with links to the intelligence community report. They also suggest that Paul Ryan, who is more realistic towards his own predicament than Mr. Trump, is willing to cooperate with authorities in exchange for mitigation of his own sentence. If Ryan gives up McConnell, and does not impede Mueller or the FBI further, it is possible he may avoid jail, although like Devin Nunes he will be required to resign from Congress. Ryan spoke in defense of Special Counsel Mueller, showing that Trump can no longer rely on Russian kompromat on Ryan to protect him.

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Read More of our ground-breaking Trump Russia journalism here:

 

Donald Trump Sealed Indictment Started With Eric Schneiderman

 

We have New York State Attorney Eric Schneiderman to thank for the genesis of the sealed indictment against Donald Trump currently being held in the Eastern District of Virginia, which has formed the basis of the case of impeachment already begun against him. This is how that happened:

AG Schneiderman began a case of Enterprise Corruption, the state name for RICO, against Donald Trump. The case was based on the activities of Russian mobsters like Semion Moglievich who lived in Trump Tower, Russian oligarchs, and others.

Upon his own judgement and belief, Scheiderman decided that his case touched both Federal issues, and issues of National Security. He took his case to the Federal authorities. While the appropriate Federal District can often be location-based, if a federal case is to start on the same factual basis, the court chosen can also be based on subject matter. Because National Security is involved, Schneiderman brought his case to FISC to be heard.

FISC does not empanel Grand Juries. Per procedure, Schneiderman dismissed his case, which as a state AG he can do without a judge’s ruling; he had the right to dispose of it. The case was then restarted Federal Court on the facts offered by Schneiderman, as a RICO case. FISC provided evidence under seal to a Grand Jury, drawn from the Eastern District of Virginia, who read the evidence in a SCIF, a secure facility in the building sealed away from the public.

Sources report FISC retained some jurisdiction over this case, although jurors were empaneled from EDVA. Separate sources report this: it was unclear to me if the FISC power over the case was solely related to sealing the matter, or if perhaps there was more evidence heard at FISC than was shared with the Grand Jury. But that ‘some jurisdiction’ was retained was told me by several sources.

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 secure email listed here.

Earlier this month, Claude Taylor and I reported exclusively that the indictment was granted. We were pulled up on use of the term “granted”, but it is the correct term when, as in this case, no prosecution is yet possible, since a sitting President has immunity; but he can be indicted, and he has been.

We reported as fact that the case was intended by prosecutors to form the basis of impeachment. This too was absolutely correct. Following the granting of the indictment on Trump, DAG Rosenstein took the matter to the Senate and presented it to lawmakers including Lindsey Graham in closed session. That is why Senator Graham came out and said ‘this investigation is now very clearly a criminal one.’ He had to say that; there was an existing criminal indictment and he had been shown it.

The following day, Rep. Green called for impeachment on the floor of the House. Contrary to what some ignoramuses are pushing on social media, a case of impeachment was begun against Trump at that moment:

Impeachment proceedings may be commenced in the House of Representatives by a Member declaring a charge of impeachment on his or her own initiative

Per procedure in the case of impeachment of individuals, the matter then went to the House Judiciary Committee.

Trump was then notified by both the other branches that a case of impeachment was commenced against him.  I can report as fact that the Sergeant At Arms of the Senate, Frank Larkin (correction sorry needed tea), went to the White House on that Wednesday night. We did not report that the Marshal of the SCOTUS did so – only that she spoke to him before he left the country, on the matter of preserving evidence and complying with the orders of the courts. Sources linked to the enforcement arm of the judicial branch report Donald Trump was also told that he had not followed procedure to declassify evidence to the Russians; and that it would constitute an offense were he to share intelligence without declassifying it in the legal way on this trip. These sources do not report the location of that warning nor who delivered it to Trump, but it happened after the case of impeachment was begun and prior to his departure on Air Force One.

Sources report that AG Schneiderman, whose evidence was used to form the basis of a criminal indictment of the President, has been placed under an even heavier armed guard than usual for his protection.

Op-Ed: Imagine There’s No Donald: What if the 45th President Were Orrin Hatch?

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

Milo Yiannopoulus Has An Account With a FISA-Targeted Russian Bank

EXCLUSIVE: Marshal of the Supreme Court Warned Trump over ‘Muslim Ban’

Mike Flynn Turns on Trump, Talks To FBI

 

Milo Yiannopoulus Has An Account With a FISA-Targeted Russian Bank

On October 15th the FISC, or secret intelligence court, granted a FISA warrant against two Russian banks – Silicon Valley Bank and Alfa Bank. (That is, as I have reported subsequently, two warrants, one per bank,  granted on the same day.)

Milo Yiannopoulos has an account at one of these banks. He told me this himself.  I reproduce the string of our email correspondence below.

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Milo Yiannopoulos, the provocateur journalist, and I, were once friendly. And then, due to the alt-right and his support for it, we were not. We were, however, still civil.

Before the recent revelations of Yiannopoulos position on child abuse, he had both a book deal, of some consequence, and was doing a tour of colleges. At Heat Street, we often covered the early stages of that tour, where liberal students would try to deny the conservative provocateur a platform by shouting him down. I was and am in favor of free speech.

However, in the period just before and after the election, those normal “student” protests suddenly became violent. And yet nobody could find the so-called “students” who were causing violent trouble. I started to suspect that Russian ‘active measures’ were involved in funding these riots. The independent journalist Caroline @RVAwonk has a number of good threads on twitter about how Russian-Trump linked provocateurs like Baked Alaska will travel to places like Berkeley, looking to cause trouble.

However, I did not pursue this line of thought as I had other, bigger, fish to fry.

There was one thing on Twitter that caught my notice, however. A woman was complaining to me that she had done work for Milo and not been paid. He had a bad record in the UK of not paying women journalists and then threatening them. I asked him on her behalf whether her claims were true. This was on background, so I am not reporting it. Rather I am excerpting here the separate parts of our email conversation where I asked him why he had an account with Silicon Valley Bank – a name familiar to me from my own FISA exclusive of Nov 7th.

I asked:

why svb bank that is the Russian bank at the heart of the FBI counter espionage probe

On that matter, he replied:

I used to bank with SVB. No idea about any Russian connections. I’m with Chase now.

We then exchanged further emails on the topic that was on background. But I returned to the issue of the bank account, which stuck out for me:

I still want to know in all honesty how you came to be with SVB. They are not a high street bank. you can’t just open an account. <Redacted>  for Russian intelligence and the FSB. what has <redacted> to do with them and how did you get connected?

He said:

I had a Private Bank account with Silicon Valley Bank, whose executives I met when I was a technology reporter. SVB Private Bank is a boutique bank for high net worth individuals. I can’t comment on your allegation <redacted> “Russian intelligence,” save to say it sounds rather far-fetched.

He then gave me an “on the record” quote that was a smear against the complainant. But as far as I am concerned, everything not relating to the matter he emailed me on was and is on the record.

I did not write a story of any kind about his feud with the complainant. He sent me an on-record smear against her, including a swipe at her disability, but the rest was on background.

Milo had previously boasted to me of his friendship with Peter Thiel (which may, I must point out, be complete rubbish – he is an unreliable witness who lies) and with Robert Mercer.

Sources did not say why SVB Bank was under a FISA warrant. They were more forthcoming about Alfa Bank. They did however describe SVB as ‘a Russian Bank’. Most posts on the matter are from Russian sites that track readers, so I link to this Daily Kos description of the agreement between SVB and Sberbank in 2012:

June 21, 2012, St. Petersburg – During the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Sberbank of Russia and SVB Financial Group (SVB), parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, of the United States have signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a formal relationship between Sberbank and SVB to promote venture financing in Russia and help support an emerging and vibrant entrepreneurial economy.

There will be more on SVB’s role with Jared Kushner shortly.

 

 

EXCLUSIVE: Marshal of the Supreme Court Warned Trump over ‘Muslim Ban’

By Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor

 

Multiple sources confirm that Pamela Talkin, Marshal of the Supreme Court, was dispatched to the White House by Chief Justice Roberts last Friday. The decision to send her was taken, sources say, when White House Counsel, Don McGahn, did not release Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Muslim memo’, despite an order of the court* to do so by that date.

The White House failed to meet the May 19th deadline to hand over the Giuliani memo, violating this order. The order states, among other things:

The parties must exchange initial disclosures by May 19, 2017. Regarding the discovery requests Plaintiffs served on Defendants on April 6, Defendants must produce the document responsive to document request 1 by May 19, 2017, and they must respond to the remaining discovery requests by June 2, 2017.

A list of current suits in which the ‘Giuliani memo’ is vital evidence include ones at the Eastern District of Virginia, Case #17-cv-00120, Sarsour vs Trump; the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, a case that originated in Maryland, Case #17-1351, International Refugee Assistance Project v Trump; The State of Hawaii v Trump, case #17-cv-00050 at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; and the case that triggered the decision to send the Marshal of the SCOTUS to Trump, Case #17-10310 at the Eastern District of Michigan, Arab American Civil Rights League et al v Trump.

Violating a court order is colloquially called ‘Contempt of Court’ and this matter falls within the standards of impeachment for a President under the constitution. The Trump Administration had not filed a motion of leave, or availed themselves of any legal mechanism to deny the order to provide the Guiliani memo by the 19th of May.

Chief Justice Roberts was concerned about both the preservation of evidence and Trump’s disregard for legal orders of the courts. He sent Marshal Talkin to the White House on Friday night, in order to tell Donald Trump that he was ordered to keep and preserve all evidence relating to this matter. Marshal Talkin was told by White House staff – brusquely, sources say – that she was too late to deliver the message to Mr. Trump; he had already left for his first trip overseas.

Marshal Talkin was not deterred. Sources report she ordered her escort to drive her straight to Andrews Air Force base. She met Trump on the tarmac, and delivered the message of the Chief Justice. Multiple sources, from law enforcement, to those linked to the intelligence community, sources linked to the military, and those linked to various different parts of the Justice Department and of the judicial system, report that Marshal Talkin informed Trump that if he were not to preserve and protect evidence, in line with orders of the courts, it would constitute a further impeachable offense; that is to say, a separate impeachable offense, additional to the case of impeachment which has already legally begun against him.

More on this breaking story as we receive it.

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*Correction: I originally attached the wrong court to the order linked in the text; as stated below, the case that triggered the Chief Justice’s decision to send the Marshal to the White House was Case #17-10310 at the Eastern District of Michigan, Arab American Civil Rights League et al v Trump.

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]