Tag: Louise Mensch

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.

 

 

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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.

Mike Flynn Turns on Trump, Talks To FBI

Multiple sources with links to the intelligence and law enforcement communities say that Lt. Gen Mike Flynn has turned on Donald Trump, and has already had at least one lengthy interview with the FBI.

General Flynn has not been offered a deal as of yet, these sources say. They indicate that as of this writing Flynn has not been arrested. He would likely be offered a chance to surrender himself, sources report, when that time comes.

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Sources with links to the Justice Department indicate that General Flynn has already been indicted. On Twitter, Claude Taylor exclusively reported on May 14th that an indictment against Flynn had been returned by a Grand Jury and that this indictment was sealed. I can further report that Flynn’s indictment is thought to be for his failure to register under FARA, the Foreign Agents’ Registration Act, for his lobbying for Turkey. Reporting by NBC of Grand Jury subpoenas in an investigation for which Flynn is the subject, sources say, cover separate offenses of Mike Flynn’s that are linked to Russia. These are being investigated under prosecutors at the Northern District of Virginia, with an attorney accustomed to handling espionage prosecutions.

Sources believe that General Mike “Misha” Flynn, to give him the Russian nickname he awarded himself when picked up by British intelligence committing treason in Cambridge, England, panicked when he heard that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had been appointed to head the investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia.

Mike Flynn may also have interpreted Donald Trump’s text to him, ‘Stay Strong,’ on the day the subpoenas for evidence in the ongoing case against him were announced, as a threat. Sources believe that Flynn informed the FBI, and multiple other persons, of Trump’s text himself.

Separate sources with links to the intelligence community confirm our earlier reporting on how Mike Flynn co-ordinated Russia’s propaganda attack on the West on behalf of Trump, giving advice across Europe to far-right parties linked to the Russian state. These include, but are not limited to, UKIP, Marine Le Pen in France and a far-right party in Austria. Flynn regarded himself as a partisan of the Russian state, and his assistance in Russia’s messaging was not limited to hacking the American election, but in trying to boost Nazi ideology and Putin allies right across Europe. These sources state that Gen. Flynn could receive the death penalty for espionage for these activities, if charges are brought on the matter and he is found guilty.

Flynn is being decommissioned, sources say, meaning that he is telling the FBI what he knows. This is clearly very bad news for Donald Trump and all those around him who colluded with Russia. It may be particularly bad news for Vice-President Mike Pence, who is attempting, with little success, to disclaim knowledge of Flynn’s collusion with Russia.

Whistleblowers are encouraged to get in touch on our secure protonmail email address. 

EXCLUSIVE: Judiciary Committee Considering Articles of Impeachment

By Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor

Multiple sources close to the intelligence, justice and law enforcement communities say that the House Judiciary Committee is considering Articles of Impeachment against the President of the United States.

Sources further say that the Supreme Court notified Mr. Trump that the formal process of a case of impeachment against him was begun, before he departed the country on Air Force One. The notification was given, as part of the formal process of the matter, in order that Mr. Trump knew he was not able to use his powers of pardon against other suspects in Trump-Russia cases. Sources have confirmed that the Marshal of the Supreme Court spoke to Mr. Trump.

It was reported this week that Mr. Trump had texted Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn the message ‘Stay strong’. This might be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate a witness, sources say.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein met with the House Judiciary Committee this week in closed session.

The authors have previously reported exclusively on Patribotics that a sealed indictment exists against Donald Trump.


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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.

 

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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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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.  

Read more of Patribotics breaking coverage here:

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Marshals Readying; Plan Approved By Justice Dept Official

The U.S. Marshals Service presented a plan to a senior Justice Department official yesterday for the service of warrants in the Trump-Russia inquiry, separate sources with links to the intelligence and law enforcement communities report.

The extensive plan was approved yesterday by a senior Justice Department official who is closely involved in prosecuting the case.

Sources say that the extensive plan, multiple pages in length, covered not only the serving of warrants, but logistical arrangements such as the closure of streets, if necessary.

They further report that while timing is uncertain, such plans are normally only presented and approved when arrests are imminent.

Patribotics knows the identity of the senior justice official who approved the plan, and the court in which it was approved. We are redacting that information for now.

More on this story as it develops.

Edited:

I want to acknowledge the following tweets by Claude Taylor made last night. My sources support his sources (and go further). He has asked me to reproduce them exactly as written.

1. Followers know I’ve tried to avoid an exact timeline as to when to expect arrests. I’m now receiving word that it may be soon. Here’s why

2. In order to avoid any possible misinterpretation, I’m going to give exact word for word quote of what I was told. “Rumor has it the AUSA

3. has signed off on the tactical & logistical plan to take numerous subjects into custody”. That’s it. Word for word.

 


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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.


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.

If whistleblowers wish to contact patribotics they are encouraged to get in touch on Twitter, or via the contact form elsewhere on this site.