Daniel Chaitin


A former top FBI official said a repository of Hillary Clinton’s emails was obtained by the Obama White House.

As part of a court-ordered discovery related to Clinton’s unauthorized email server, Bill Priestap was asked by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch to identify representatives of Clinton, her State Department staff, and government agencies from which “email repositories were obtained” by the FBI.

He divulged a nonexhaustive list, which included the Executive Office of the President.

Other people mentioned were former Clinton aides Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, Jacob Sullivan, and Justin Cooper, former Clinton information technology staffer Bryan Pagliano, the State Department, Secret Service, and Washington-based law firm Williams and Connolly.

Priestep answered questions in writing and under oath as part of U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s ruling earlier this year that discovery could commence examining the former secretary of state’s use of the server, encompassing Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as Priestap.

Judicial Watch shared Priestep’s recent testimony on Tuesday, at a time when Republican allies of President Trump, as well as the Justice Department and its inspector general, are looking into possible misconduct by top DOJ and FBI officials stemming back to the Obama administration to undermine Trump as a candidate and president.

“This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated — Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme.”

Priestap served as former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and played a significant role in overseeing both the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s private email server and her handling of classified information. He also was involved in the FBI’s investigation into allegations that President Trump and Trump campaign associates were colluding with the Russian government during the 2016 election.

The FBI confirmed to the Washington Examiner earlier this month that Priestap is retired. “Yes, Mr. Priestap became eligible to retire and chose to do so after 20 years of service,” a representative said.

The FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of an unauthorized server, hosted in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., came to a conclusion during the 2016 presidential election. Former FBI Director James Comey publicly recommended in 2016 that no charges be brought against Clinton, who was then a candidate for president, but admonished Clinton and her colleagues for being “extremely careless” in handling classified information.

One of the main controversies stemming from Clinton’s emails was how a technician managing the server deleted 33,000 emails. The FBI was only able to recover about 5,000 of the emails, which were released in tranches up until earlier this year as part of a Judicial Watch lawsuit.

Obama himself said he learned of Clinton’s private email server “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” during an interview with CBS News in 2015. His press secretary Josh Earnest also acknowledged Obama exchanged emails with Clinton while she was using her private server, but did not know the details of her email address. “The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with his secretary of state,” Earnest said. “I would not describe the number of emails as large, but they did have the occasion to email each other.”

Clinton has long blamed the FBI’s handling of the emails investigation as a reason for her 2016 loss to Trump.

Author: Daniel Chaitin

Source: Washingtonexaminer: FBI found Hillary Clinton’s emails in Obama White House, former top official says

Rep. Matt Gaetz says evidence of FBI officials improperly receiving incentives from the media in exchange for leaks will soon come out.

During an interview on Fox News late Saturday, the Florida Republican said the Justice Department inspector general is examining the FBI’s relationship with some members of the press. But, he said some of this information will be made public before the watchdog report’s release.

“One of the other nuggets that the inspector general is working on is the corruption that existed between the media and members of of the FBI,” Gaetz said. “Where members of the mainstream media were giving concert passes and athletic tickets and other incentives to people in the FBI to leak to them so we’ll be seeing that even before we see the inspector general’s report on how this fraudulent investigation began.”

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced the initiation of a FISA abuse investigation in March 2018 after requests from both then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Republican members in Congress. He is expected to wrap up by May or June.

It’s unclear where Gaetz may have gotten his information. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, his fellow GOP colleagues Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan recently said they discussed the FISA investigation with Horowitz. The lawmakers claimed the Justice Department and FBI had abused the FISA process and misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in their investigation and surveillance of President Trump and his associates during the campaign, as well as during the Trump administration.

Gaetz questioned the veracity of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, noting how he cited media reports “as if they’re gospel when they clearly are not.”

Mueller’s report, which was released in redacted form on Thursday, found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller declined to make a conclusion about possible obstruction of justice by the president.

The DOJ inspector general released a report last summer that found many FBI officials talking to the press and attending “social events” with the media during the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private emails, breaking with FBI policy limiting employees who are authorized to speak to the media.

In October, the inspector general released more information in a summary that said a senior FBI official, who had since retired, accepted tickets to a sports event from a television reporter who regularly covered the bureau.

Author: Daniel Chaitin

Source: Washingtonexaminer: Matt Gaetz: Evidence of FBI-media ‘corruption’ coming out before DOJ inspector general report

President Trump pushed the argument Sunday evening that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff was complicit in “colluding” with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and should be investigated for ethics violations.

Upon returning to Washington, D.C., after a weekend trip to Florida, the president retweeted reports and commentary about Cohen being coached before his public testimony before the House Oversight Committee last month.

“If Schiff wasn’t coaching Cohen on how to go after Trump before his testimony and was just going over procedural issues, why didn’t he invite GOP staff to sit in on these secret meetings? Schiff must be recused from future hearings while Ethics investigates his witness tampering,” said ones of those tweets from Paul Sperry, a conservative author and political commentator at the right-leaning Hoover Institute.

Trump also shared tweets from Tom Fitton, the president of conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, who said Schiff was mired in another “ethics scandal.”

Last week, Cohen told House investigators that staff for Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York four times to meet with him for a total of 10 hours about a variety of topics right before his appearance before the oversight panel, according to Fox News.

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., suggested there was “witness tampering” and fellow Republican member, Rep. Mike Turner wrote a letter to Cohen demanding answers. “Clearly, there will be questions as to whether or not such contacts, if they occurred, constitute witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or collusion, collaboration, and cooperation between the House Democratic majority, their staff, and you,” the Ohio lawmaker wrote.

Both Schiff’s and Cohen’s teams argued they did nothing wrong.

“We are running a professional investigation in search of the facts, and we welcome the opportunity to meet with potential witnesses in advance of any testimony to determine relevant topics to cover in order to make productive use of their time before the Committee,” Schiff spokesman Patrick Boland said. “Despite this professed outrage by Republicans, it’s completely appropriate to conduct proffer sessions and allow witnesses to review their prior testimony before the Committee interviews them — such sessions are a routine part of every serious investigation around the country, including congressional investigations.”

Schiff denied that he himself met with Cohen in the pre-testimony meetings.

Lanny Davis, who represents Cohen, told the Daily Beast that Schiff’s staff focused on going over Cohen’s 2017 testimony. “It’s completely appropriate, and he would have done the same thing for Republicans had they asked,” Davis said.

Cohen, who has already been convicted and disbarred for lying to Congress once before, is facing a fresh wave of allegations that he lied to Congress.

Trump said Friday that Cohen perjured himself last week when he testified before Congress that he never sought a pardon.

Cohen also testified that he was offered a White House job, but turned it down to protect Trump’s attorney-client privilege. However, Trump’s sons cast doubt on Cohen’s assertion, alleging their father’s former personal attorney was once “lobbying” for the White House chief of staff position, and a November 2016 video of Cohen indicates he lied under oath about it.

Cohen will report for a three-year prison sentence in May after pleading guilty to bank and tax fraud, a campaign finance violation, and lying to Congress about 2016 talks to build a Trump skyscraper in Russia.

Author: Daniel Chaitin

Source: Washingtonexaminer: Trump pushes claims that Adam Schiff ‘colluded’ with Michael Cohen ahead of public hearing

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