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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Congress Finally Targets Obama Top Officials - They're Going After The Bigger Fish Now

By Susan Duclos - All News PipeLine

As we have been covering the congressional investigations into FISA abuses under the Obama presidency, with the much talked about four-page memo which purportedly details how the unverified, Kremlin sourced Steele dossier, which was funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC, was used to obtain FISA warrants to surveil the Trump campaign team, we have seen names like Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein and former FBI director James Comey implicated. Other names that have been in the headlines include DOJ official Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie, recently reassigned FBI general counsel James BakerFBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page,  and member of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigative team Jeannie Rhee

We have often referred to them as high level intelligence community employees, but as "low hanging fruit," in regards to following the evidence up the chain of command to investigate those in even more powerful positions that may have abused their positions, weaponized the FBI and DOJ and other government agencies under Obama, and violated protocols and laws.

(Image credit - Conservative Treehouse)


There are a multitude of investigations occurring into a variety of issues, in both Senate oversight committees and House committees, as well as the DOJ's Office of Inspector General, and the DOJ itself with 27 active investigations into classified information being leaked to the press.

It appears the Senate Judiciary Committee is now climbing up the ladder to get to higher hanging fruit as six letters were sent out on January 25, 2018, by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism Chairman Lindsey Graham, related to "Potential Political Influence on FBI."

The letters were sent to The Democratic National Committee (DNC), Hillary for America (HFA), Former DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile, HFA Chair John Podesta, and HFA Chief Strategist Joel Benenson.

Via the press release from Senator Grassley's website, we see "The letters seek information and documents relating to those political organizations’ knowledge of and involvement in Mr. Steele’s work and his reported interactions with the FBI while he was working on behalf of these political organizations."

The letters begin with the following text:

In October 2017, the Washington Post reported that Hillary for America and the Democratic National Committee had funded, via Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele's creation of a series of memos relying largely on Russian government sources to make allegations against Donald Trump and his associates.  A letter from the law firm Perkins Coie acknowledged that, "[t]o assist in its representation of the DNC and Hillary for America, Perkins Coie engaged Fusion GPS in April of 2016" and that "the engagement concluded prior to the November 2016 Presidential election. "

The Senate Judiciary Committee has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the FBI and the broader Department of Justice. Part of that duty involves ensuring that law enforcement efforts are conducted without improper political influence. Accordingly, the Committee has been investigating the FBI' s relationship with Christopher Steele during this time his work was funded by Hillary for America and the DNC. The scope of our review includes the extent to which the FBI may have relied on information relayed by Mr. Steele in seeking judicial authorization for surveillance of individuals associated with Mr. Trump. It also includes whether any applications that may have been made for permission for such surveillance fully and accurately disclosed:

(1) the source of Fusion GPS's and Mr. Steele's funding; (2) the degree to which his claims were or were not verified; (3) the motivations of Mr. Steele, his clients, and his sources; and ( 4) representations about their contacts with the press.

The letters follow that up with a list of 11 questions, with requests for documentation related to the answers to those questions, but it is the 12 document demand that is highly interesting as they ask for a list of all communications associated with a list of 40 people or groups, from March 2016 through January 2017, and some of those names definitely qualify as "high hanging fruit" from the Obama administration.

12. For the period from March 2016 through January 2017, please provide all communications to, from, copying, or relating to: Fusion GPS; Bean LLC; Glenn Simpson; Mary Jacoby; Peter Fritsch; Tom Catan; Jason Felch; Neil King; David Michaels; Taylor Sears; Patrick Corcoran; Laura Sego; Jay Bagwell; Erica Castro; Nellie Ohr; Rinat Akhmetshin; Ed Lieberman; Edward Baumgartner; Orbis Business Intelligence Limited; Orbis Business International Limited.; Walsingham Training Limited; Walsingham Partners Limited; Christopher Steele; Christopher Burrows; Sir Andrew Wood, Paul Hauser; Oleg Deripaska; Cody Shearer; Sidney Blumenthal; Jon Winer; Kathleen Kavalec; Victoria Nuland; Daniel Jones;Bruce Ohr; Peter Strzok; Andrew McCabe; James Baker;  Sally Yates; Loretta Lynch; John Brennan.

The names that stand out the most are the last six, as Andrew McCabe is currently the Deputy Director of the FBI, who has been referenced in the text messages by the anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, when they admitted to meeting in "Andy's office" to discuss a "path" to prevent Donald Trump from winning the 2016 presidential election. That was before Strzok's  reference to an "insurance policy," which was the Russia investigation, in where the Steele dossier was used to obtain the FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign team members.

James Baker was the FBI's general counsel but was recently reassigned. According to sources within the GOP, Baker was in contact with David Corm at Mother Jones, who first broke the story of the existence of the Steele dossier. While Corn claims Baker was not the source for his story, Baker did communicate with Corn in the weeks leading up to November 2016 election. Circa had reported in July 2017 that Baker was under investigation for allegedly leaking to the press.

Sally Yates was appointed by Barack Obama as the United States Deputy Attorney General, who was temporarily the acting Attorney General while Jeff Sessions was waiting to be confirmed, until President Trump terminated her for refusing to defend the president's executive order on extreme vetting. Bruce Ohr, who had repeated contacts with Steele, as well as his wife Nellie having been on Fusion GPS payroll, was associate deputy attorney general, directly under Yates.

Loretta Lynch was Obama's Attorney General of the United States, the same woman that met with Bill Clinton in the now famous tarmac meeting amidst the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server and the mishandling of classified communications on said server. Both the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee have been investigating whether the dossier was used by the DOJ, under Lynch, to justify the FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign team members, and the four page House Intel Committee four-page memo now purports to answer that question in the affirmative after their months-long investigations.

John Brennan, who was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 to January 2017. In May 2017 it was reported that "Obama loyalist Brennan drove FBI to begin investigating Trump associates last summer."


Another interesting name on the Judiciary Committee list of 40 individuals or groups  they want the documents on is Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal was a former aide to Bill Clinton during his presidency and is a known confidant of Hillary Clinton, and was formerly employed by the Clinton Foundation. Blumenthal was also regularly featured in the Podesta emails that Wikileaks published during the election cycle. 

RelatedFusion GPS Founder: FBI May Have Paid Expenses for Anti-Trump Dossier Author

Note - It is important to remember that while Congress is responsible for oversight, and can and are conducting investigations into corruption at the highest of levels within the intelligence community, they do not prosecute or charge. When they have compiled what they believe to be enough evidence for charges to be brought, they send a criminal referral to the DOJ, as they recently did in relation to Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier. That is an official request for the DOJ to begin a criminal investigation on the individual in question.


Given the aforementioned information on those specific individuals, knowing that the Senate Judiciary Committee wants "all communications to, from, copying, or relating to" these individuals that is in possession of The DNC, Hillary for America (HFA), Former DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile, HFA Chair John Podesta, and HFA Chief Strategist Joel Benenson, from March 2016 through January 2017, it leads to the logical assumption that the Senate Judiciary Committee is now moving up the ladder and targeting the bigger fish from the Obama administration.

One of the six copies of the letters sent out on January 25, 2018, by Grassley and Graham, embedded below:

scr1 by DanB on Scribd

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