Spygate PART 1: How Obama Officials Plotted to Take Down Trump [2019]

Spygate PART 1: How Obama Officials Plotted to Take Down Trump [2019]


Today on Declassified, an Epoch Times special;
Spygate: Inside the Obama Officials’ Plot to Take Down Trump. We explore how the intelligence community
and federal agencies conspired against Donald Trump’s presidency. This story written by Epoch Times contributor
Jeff Carlson. Please remember to subscribe and hit the notifications
button. Spygate has become one of the greatest political
scandals in America’s history. Efforts by high ranking officials in the CIA,
FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ), and State Department to portray President Donald Trump
as having colluded with Russia were the culmination of years of bias and politicization under
the Obama administration. The weaponization of our intelligence community
and governmental agencies created an environment that allowed for interference in the investigation
into Hillary Clinton and the relentless pursuit of a manufactured collusion narrative against
Trump. A willing and complicit media spread unsubstantiated
or falsified leaks as facts in an effort to promote the Russia-collusion narrative rather
than objectively report on it. The Spygate scandal also raises a bigger question,
was the 2016 election a one-time aberration or is it symptomatic of decades of institutional
political corruption? This story builds on dozens of Congressional
testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of
Obama administration officials in this scandal. To provide a backdrop for understanding this
abuse of power, it helps to go back to July of 2011, when DOJ Inspector General Michael
Horowitz was appointed. From the very start, Horowitz found his duties
throttled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who placed limitations on the Inspector General’s
right to have unobstructed access to information. Holder used this tactic to delay Horowitz’s
investigation of the failed sting operation known as Operation Fast and Furious. Horowitz told members of Congress in February
2015 “We got access to information up to 2010 in all of these categories. No law changed in 2010. No policy changed. … It was simply a decision by the General
Counsel’s Office in 2010 that they viewed, now, the law differently. And as a result, they weren’t going to give
us that information. ”
On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general had sent a letter to Congress asking
for unimpeded access to all records. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded
on July 20, 2015, with a 58-page memorandum, titled Memorandum for Sally Quillian Yates
Deputy Attorney General, written by Karl R. Thompson, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney
General of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The July 20, 2015, opinion was widely criticized. But it accomplished what it was intended to
do. The opinion limited IG Horowitz’s oversight
from extending to any information collected under Title III—including intercepted communications
and national security letters. Notably, the New York Times disclosed that
national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump 2016 presidential
campaign. In response, on Aug. 3, 2015, IG Horowitz
sent a blistering letter to Congress. The letter was signed not only by Horowitz
but by all other Acting Inspector Generals as well:
“The OLC opinion’s restrictive reading of the IG Act represents a potentially serious
challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our collective ability to conduct
our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner. Our concern is that, as a result of the OLC
opinion, agencies other than DOJ may likewise withhold crucial records from their Inspectors
General, adversely impacting their work. The only means to address this serious threat
to Inspector General independence is for Congress to promptly pass legislation that affirms
the independent authority of Inspectors General to access without delay all information and
data in an agency’s possession that an Inspector General deems necessary to execute its oversight
functions under the law.” Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight
access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act. Horowitz would ultimately win his battle,
but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the
Inspectors General Empowerment Act into law. It is against this backdrop of minimal oversight
that Spygate took place. Ironically, the Clinton email server investigation,
known as the Mid-Year Exam, originated from a disclosure contained in a June 29, 2015,
memo sent by the inspectors general for both the State Department and the Intelligence
Community to Patrick F. Kennedy, then-undersecretary of state for management. The IGs’ memo included an assessment that
Clinton’s email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton’s
claims that there was no classified information present on her server. On July 6, 2015, the IG for the Intelligence
Community made a referral to the FBI, which resulted in the official opening of an investigation
into the Clinton email server by FBI officials Randall Coleman and Charles Kable on July
10, 2015. At this time, Peter Strzok was an Assistant
Special Agent in Charge at the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The Assistant Director in Charge at the Washington
Field Office during this period was Andrew McCabe, a position he assumed on Sept. 14,
2014. On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI’s
opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position
within the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director,
McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office and his direct
involvement in the Clinton investigation began. Strzok would shortly follow. Less than a month after McCabe was transferred,
FBI headquarters reached out to the Washington Field Office, saying they needed greater staffing
and resources “based on what they were looking at, based on some of the investigative steps
that were under consideration,” Strzok told congressional investigators in a closed-door
hearing on June 27, 2018. Strzok was one of the agents selected and
in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI
headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged
that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from
the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters. Starting in October 2015 and into the first
months of 2016, FBI Director James Comey made a series of high profile reassignments that
resulted in the complete turnover of the upper-echelon of the FBI Team working on the Clinton email
investigation: Oct. 12, 2015: Louis Bladel was moved to the
New York Field Office. Dec. 1, 2015: Randall Coleman, Assistant Director
head of Counterintelligence, was named as executive assistant director of the Criminal,
Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, and was replaced by Bill Priestap. Dec. 9, 2015: Charles “Sandy” Kable was
moved to the Washington Field Office. Feb. 1, 2016: Mark Giuliano retired as Deputy
FBI Director and was replaced by Andrew McCabe. Feb. 11, 2016: John Giacalone retired as Executive
Assistant Director and was replaced by Michael Steinbach. March 2, 2016: Gerald Roberts, Jr. was moved
to the Washington Field Office. Comey was the only known involved senior FBI
leadership official who remained a constant during the entirety of the Clinton email investigation. McCabe had the second-longest tenure. On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as
Deputy FBI Director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position
within the FBI after having held the No. 3 position for just six months. It was at this point that FBI lawyer Lisa
Page was assigned to McCabe as his special counsel. This is not the first time that Page worked
directly for McCabe. James Baker, the FBI’s former general counsel,
told congressional investigators that Page had worked for McCabe at various times during
McCabe’s career: Mr. Baker: So at various points she was assigned
to work for Andy McCabe when he was the executive assistant director for national security. She was in that position when I got to OGC
[Office of General Counsel]. I’m not sure when she started, maybe 2013
until he left, and I can’t remember when he left that job. And then when Andy came back as the deputy
director, Lisa then held a special adviser kind of position for him as well. So she was technically still in OGC, but she
was on assignment to work for Andy McCabe. By early 2016, the three participants in the
infamous “insurance policy” meeting—McCabe, Strzok, and Page—were now in place at the
FBI. In January 2016, Bill Priestap was named as
head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, replacing Coleman and inheriting the Clinton
email investigation in the process. According to Priestap, Coleman had “set
up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through
the customary other chain of command” in the Clinton email investigation. Priestap, who said he didn’t know why Coleman
had “set it up,” kept the chain of command in place when he assumed Coleman’s position
in January 2016. This new structure resulted in some unusual
reporting lines that went outside normal chains of command. Strzok, who would not normally fall under
Priestap’s oversight, was now reporting directly to him. As Priestap described it, the makeup of the
team involved in the Clinton investigation was comprised of three differing but intertwined
elements; the filter team, the primary team, and the senior leadership team. The primary team was small, consisting only
of Strzok, FBI analyst Jonathan Moffa and, to varying degrees, filter team leader Rick
Mains and FBI lawyer Sally Moyer. Mains reported to Strzok and Moffa, who in
turn, along with Moyer, provided briefings to Priestap. Below Strzok and Moffa was the day-to-day
investigative “filter” team of approximately 15 FBI agents and analysts that was overseen
by Mains, a supervisory special agent. The senior leadership team was more fluid,
consisting of higher-level FBI officials who provided briefings and updates to Comey and/or
McCabe. In addition to Priestap, Strzok, and Moffa,
frequent attendees included Moyer, Page, Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson—Comey’s
chief of staff—Jim Rybicki, and General Counsel James Baker. While the elements of the day-to-day investigative
team differed for the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation, the primary
team remained the same throughout both cases—as did the lines of communication between the
FBI and DOJ. According to testimony from Page, John Carlin,
who ran the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD), was receiving briefings on both investigations
directly from McCabe. Priestap, who testified that he was unaware
of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Page, seems to have been kept
in the dark regarding many of the actions by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant
investigative control. Priestap was asked about this by congressional
investigators during a June 5, 2018, testimony. Rep. Meadows: It sounds like Peter Strzok
was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that? Mr. Priestap: Peter and Jon, yeah. Additionally, Page often circumvented the
established chain of command, not only with McCabe, for whom she reportedly served as
a conduit for Strzok, but also with Baker. Additionally, there were concerns that Page
bypassed both the executive assistant director for the National Security Branch—first Giacalone
and then Steinbach—and Priestap, the head of counterintelligence. Trisha Anderson, the No. 2 lawyer, admitted
to being aware of these concerns to congressional investigators:
Mr. Baker (Investigative Counsel, House Majority Staff): Did you ever hear specifically either
Mr. Giacalone or Mr. Steinbach complain about the role of Lisa Page, not necessarily her
role in what she had responsibility for, but because she had access to Mr. McCabe and she
also would get information from Strzok, that those people, Steinbach or Giacalone and I
guess Priestap to a certain extent, they would probably be the ones most affected by information
not coming through them. Did you ever hear any one of them specifically
complain about that? Ms. Anderson: I didn’t have any—I don’t
believe I heard either of them—neither of them personally complained to me, but I was
aware of their concerns. A report published by Inspector General Horowitz
in June last year, which reviewed the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton email case, included
the notable statement that several witnesses informed the IG that Page “circumvented
the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information
to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap’s or Steinbach’s knowledge.” Steinbach, who was the executive assistant
director and Priestap’s direct supervisor, left the FBI in early 2017. According to Anderson, McCabe was aware of
the ongoing concerns regarding Page’s circumventions, but it appears that nothing was done to address
them: Mr. Baker – Investigative Counsel, House Majority
Staff: Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned
that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive,
critical investigation? Ms. Anderson: My understanding was that he
was aware. By the Spring of 2016, the Clinton email investigation
was already winding down. This was due in large part to the fact that
the DOJ, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, had decided to set an unusually high threshold
for the prosecution of Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she would not
be charged. In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the
DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent—even though the gross negligence
statute explicitly does not require this. This meant that the FBI would have needed
to find a smoking gun, such as an email or an admission made during FBI questioning,
revealing Clinton or her aides knowingly set up the private` email server to send classified
information. According to Page, the DOJ played a far larger
role in the Clinton investigation than had been previously known:
“Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the
matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not
a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction
of the Justice Department,” Page told congressional investigators on July 13, 2018. Comey had also hinted at the influence exerted
by the DOJ over the Clinton investigation in a July 5, 2016, press conference, in which
he recommended Clinton not be charged, stating that “there are obvious considerations,
like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent.” Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove
the term “gross negligence” to describe Clinton’s actions from his prepared statement
by, among others, Page, FBI agent Peter Strzok, senior legal counsel Trisha Anderson, and
FBI analyst Jonathan Moffa. As the Clinton investigation wound down, interest
from the intelligence community in the Trump campaign was ramping up. Sometime in 2015, former CIA Director John
Brennan established himself as the point man in the U.S. operation to stop a potential
Trump presidency. Using a combination of unofficial foreign
intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates—primarily from the UK, but
also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia, Brennan then fed this information
into the FBI—a fact Brennan stated repeatedly during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony:
“I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving
the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI].” Brennan also admitted that it was his intelligence
that helped establish the FBI investigation: “I was aware of intelligence and information
about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind
about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a
witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to
determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred.” In late 2015, Britain’s Government Communications
Headquarters (GCHQ) was involved in the collection of information regarding then-candidate Trump
and transmitting it to the United States. The GCHQ is the UK equivalent of America’s
National Security Agency (NSA). As GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level
Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted
after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos—whose
own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious—occurred
in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian
diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK’s Foreign
and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos—some repeatedly
so. Mifsud, who introduced Papadopoulos to a series
of Russian contacts, appears to have more connections with Western intelligence than
Russian intelligence. Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat,
met with Papadopoulos in May 2016 in a meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries. Information allegedly relayed by Papadopoulos
during the Downer meeting, that the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton,
appears nearly identical to information later contained in the first memo from British former
MI6 spy, and dossier author, Christopher Steele that the FBI obtained in early July 2016. Downer’s conversation with Papadopoulos
was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through Australian government channels,
although it may have come directly from Downer himself. Details from the conversation between Downer
and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open their counterintelligence investigation
on July 31, 2016. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the
head of the UK’s GCHQ, traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications
between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Around the same time, Brennan formed an inter-agency
task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic
inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National
Intelligence, and the NSA handled foreign and intelligence aspects. During this time, Brennan appeared to have
employed the use of reverse targeting, which refers to the targeting of a foreign individual
with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen. Brennan: We call it incidental collection
in terms of CIA’s foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information
on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority
to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative,
you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of
great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there—so they
could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here. As this foreign intelligence—unofficial
in nature and outside of any traditional channels—was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding
his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence
from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence
investigation. The last major segment of Brennan’s efforts
involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the “Joint Statement from
the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on
Election Security,” was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, “GRIZZLY STEPPE —Russian
Malicious Cyber Activity,” was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, “Assessing Russian Activities
and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections”—also known as the Intelligence Community Assessment
(ICA)—was released on Jan. 6, 2017. This final report was used to continue pushing
the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly
dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning only a moderate confidence level. Meanwhile, another less official effort began. Information paid for by the Democratic National
Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign targeting Donald Trump made its way to the
highest levels of the FBI and the State Department, with a sophisticated strategy relying on the
personal connections of hired operatives. At the center of the multi-pronged strategy
to disseminate the information were Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and former MI6
spy Steele. In early March 2016, Fusion GPS approached
Perkins Coie—the law firm used by the Clinton campaign and the DNC—expressing interest
in an “engagement,” according to an Oct. 24, 2017, response letter by Perkins Coie. Perkins Coie hired Fusion in April 2016, to
“perform a variety of research services during the 2016 election cycle.” Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence,
was retained by Fusion during the period between June and November 2016. During this time, Steele produced 16 memos,
the last memo dated Oct. 20, 2016. There is one final memo that Steele wrote
on Dec. 13 at the request of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Steele provided Fusion GPS with something
that Simpson’s firm was lacking: access to individuals within the FBI and the State
Department. These contacts could be traced back to at
least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance in the FBI’s investigation into FIFA over
concerns that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup. Sometime in the latter half of 2014, Steele
began to informally provide reports he had prepared for a private client to the State
Department. One of the recipients of the reports was Victoria
Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. After Steele’s company was hired by Fusion
GPS in June 2016, he began to reach out to the FBI through Michael Gaeta, an FBI agent
and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome who Steele had worked with in the
FIFA case. Gaeta also headed up the FBI’s Eurasian
Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia,
Russia, and Ukraine. Gaeta was later identified as Steele’s FBI
handler in a July 16, 2018, congressional testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight
committees by Lisa Page. On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London
and met with Steele at the offices of Steele’s firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed
his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed
on at some point to both the FBI and then-secretary of State John Kerry. Exactly what happened with the reports that
Gaeta brought back from London, and precisely who he gave them to within the FBI, remains
unknown, although some media reports have indicated they might have been sent to the
FBI’s New York Field Office. During the period following Steele’s initial
contact with the FBI, there appears to have been no further FBI interaction or contact
with Steele. After nearly a month, it seems that Steele
and Simpson decided to pursue a new channel into the FBI, through then-Associate Deputy
Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Ohr had known Steele since at least 2007,
when they met during an “official meeting” while Steele was still employed by the British
government as an MI6 agent. Steele had already been in contact with Bruce
Ohr via email in early 2016. Notably, most of these prior communications
appeared to discuss Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his ongoing efforts to obtain
a U.S. visa. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, also knew Simpson from
years past and had begun working for Fusion as a Russian analyst in late 2015. Nellie Ohr, who would remain with Fusion until
September 2016, researched members of the Trump campaign—and members of Trump’s
family—for Simpson’s company. On July 29, Steele wrote to Ohr saying that
he would “be in DC at short notice on business,” and asked to meet with both Ohr and his wife. On July 30, 2016, Bruce and Nellie Ohr met
Steele for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel. Also present at the breakfast meeting was
a fourth individual, described by Ohr as “an associate of Mr. Steele’s, another gentleman,
younger fellow. I didn’t catch his name.” Of particular note, the FBI’s counterintelligence
investigation, “Crossfire Hurricane,” was formally opened the following day, on
July 31, 2016, by FBI agent Peter Strzok. According to a transcript of Ohr’s testimony
before Congress, Steele relayed information from his dossier at this meeting and claimed
that “a former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, had stated
to someone … that they had Donald Trump over a barrel.” Steele also referenced Deripaska’s business
dealings with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and foreign policy adviser Carter
Page’s meetings in Moscow. Lastly, Ohr noted that Steele told him he
had been in contact with the FBI but now had additional reports. “Chris Steele had provided some reports
to the FBI, I think two, but that Glenn Simpson had more,” he said. Immediately following Ohr’s breakfast meeting
with Steele, Ohr reached out to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and the two met in
McCabe’s office—sometime between July 30 and the first days of August. Also present at this meeting was FBI lawyer
Lisa Page—who had previously worked for Ohr at the DOJ—where Bruce Ohr was her direct
supervisor for five to six years. Ohr would later testify that during the July/August
meeting he told McCabe that his wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion, noting “I wanted the
FBI to be aware of any possible bias.” FBI General Counsel James Baker, who reviewed
a portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application on Trump campaign advisor
Carter Page—which relied in part on the information from Steele—told congressional
investigators that he was never told of Ohr’s concerns regarding possible bias and conflicts
of interest. On Aug. 15, 2016, a week or two following
Ohr’s meeting with McCabe, FBI agent Strzok would send the now-infamous “insurance policy”
text referencing McCabe to Lisa Page: “I want to believe the path you threw out
for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m
afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely
event you die before you’re 40…” On Aug. 22, Ohr had a meeting with Simpson. Ohr would later discuss that meeting during
his testimony: “I don’t know exactly what Chris Steele
was thinking, of course, but I knew that Chris Steele was working for Glenn Simpson, and
that Glenn might have additional information that Chris either didn’t have or was not
authorized to prevent [present], give me, or whatever.” It was at this meeting that Simpson first
mentioned Sergei Millian and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. During this same period in late August 2016,
Brennan began briefing members of the Gang of Eight through a series of meetings in August
and September 2016. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed
separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts by Democrats to block the release
of transcripts from each meeting are ongoing. Notably, Comey did not notify Congress until
early March 2017, and it’s entirely possible he was unaware of Brennan’s private briefings
during the summer of 2016. During her testimony, FBI lawyer Lisa Page
was questioned by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message
that read, “What are you doing after the CH brief?” CH almost certainly referred to “Crossfire
Hurricane.” Lisa Page was then asked about an event that
took place on the same day as the “CH brief”—a briefing provided by Brennan to then-Senate
Minority Leader Harry Reid: “You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It’s not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell,
a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point.” According to Meadows, Brennan briefed Reid
on the Steele dossier: “We have documents that would suggest that
in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then obviously we’re going
to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan
would be aware [of the dossier]?” Lisa Page appeared genuinely surprised that
Brennan would have been aware of the dossier’s existence at this early point, telling Meadows,
“The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information,
I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did.” She elaborated further, “As of August of
2016, I don’t know who Christopher Steele is. I don’t know that he’s an FBI source. I don’t know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life.” This claim by Page seems incongruous when
viewed against Ohr’s testimony that he met with Page and McCabe in the first days of
August following his July 30, 2016 breakfast with Steele:
“My initial meeting was with Mr. McCabe and with Lisa Page. “I was telling them about what I was hearing
from Chris Steele.” Meanwhile, Brennan’s briefing prompted Reid
to write not one, but two letters to Comey. Both demanded that Comey commence an investigation
with the details to be made public. Reid’s first letter, which touched on Carter
Page, was sent on August 27, 2016. Reid’s second letter, far angrier and declaring
Comey to be in possession of material information, was sent on Oct. 30, 2016. There had been reports that Comey had been
considering closing the FBI investigation into Trump, something that Brennan was strongly
opposed to. Now, with Reid’s letters sent, that avenue
was effectively closed. The termination of the FBI’s Trump-Russia
investigation would be all but impossible in the face of Reid’s public demands. Perhaps it was in response to Reid’s Aug.
27 letter that the FBI suddenly reached out to Steele in Sept. 2016, asking him for all
the information in his possession. The team working on “Crossfire Hurricane”
received documents and a briefing from Steele in mid-September, reportedly at a meeting
in Rome, where Gaeta was also present. During Lisa Page’s testimony, she appeared
to corroborate this account, noting that the team received the “reports that are known
as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016.” She would later clarify the timing, noting
“we received the reporting from Steele in mid-September.” A text sent to her by FBI Agent Peter Strzok
on Oct. 12, 2016, may provide us with the actual date:
“…We got the reporting on Sept 19. Looks like [redacted] got it early August…” Steele had produced 8 reports from June 20,
2016, through the end of August 2016 (there is also one undated report included in the
dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele
until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank
named Alfa Bank, misspelled as “Alpha” in his memo. As the dossier was making its way into the
FBI, the agency began its preparations to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign advisor
Carter Page, who was surveilled under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act. According to Baker’s testimony, it appears
that the FBI began to set its sights on Carter Page in the summer of 2016. When asked how he had first gained knowledge
of the FBI’s intention to pursue a FISA on Carter Page, Baker testified that it came
through his familiarity with the FBI’s investigation: Mr. Baker: I learned of — so I was aware
when the FBI first started to focus on Carter Page, I was aware of that because it was part
of the broader investigation that we were conducting. So I was aware that we were investigating
him. And then at some point in time –
Mr. Meadows: But that was many years ago. That was in 2014. Or are you talking about 2016? Mr. Baker: I am talking about 2016 in the
summer. Mr. Meadows: Okay. Mr. Baker: Yeah. And so I was aware of the investigation, and
then at some point in time, as part of the regular briefings on the case, the briefers
mentioned that they were going to pursue a FISA. It appears the FBI, and possibly the CIA,
began to focus on Carter Page earlier than Baker was aware. Carter Page had been invited some months prior
to a July 2016 symposium held at Cambridge regarding the upcoming election. The speaker list was notable:
Madeleine Albright (former U.S. secretary of state)
Vin Weber (Republican Party strategist and former congressman)
Peter Ammon (German ambassador to the UK) Sir Richard Dearlove (former head of MI6)
Bridget Kendall (BBC diplomatic correspondent and the next master of Peterhouse College)
Sir Malcolm Rifkind (former defense and foreign secretary)
Carter Page attended the event just four days after his July 2016 Moscow trip and it was
here that he first encountered Stefan Halper during his London visit. Page’s Moscow trip would later feature prominently
in the Steele dossier. Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant,
stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the
final FISA warrant on Page expired. Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general
counsel for the FBI and head of the bureau’s National Security and Cyber Law Branch, approved
the application for a warrant to spy on Carter Page before it went to FBI Director James
Comey. According to Anderson, pre-approvals for the
Carter Page FISA were provided by both McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, before
the FISA application was ever presented to her for review. “[M]y boss and my boss’ boss had already
reviewed and approved this application. And, in fact, the Deputy Attorney General,
who had the authority to sign the application, to be the substantive approver on the FISA
application itself, had approved the application. And that typically would not have been the
case before I did that,” Anderson said. The unusual preliminary reviews and approvals
from both McCabe and Yates appear to have had a substantial impact on the normal review
process, leading other individuals like Anderson to believe that the Carter Page FISA was more
vetted than, perhaps, it really was. Anderson also testified that she had not read
the Carter Page FISA prior to signing off on the application and passing it along to
Comey for the final signature. According to FBI lawyer Sally Moyer, the underlying
Woods file, which provides facts supporting the allegations made in a FISA application,
was only read by the originating agent and the supervisory special agent in the field. Moyer also noted that the Woods file relating
to the Page FISA had not been reviewed or audited by anyone. The Carter Page application was largely reliant
on the Steele dossier, which was unverified at its time of submission to the FISA court
and remains unverified to this day. Circular reporting, provided by Steele himself,
was used as corroboration of the dossier. Additionally, Trump campaign adviser George
Papadopoulos, whose conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer was used to open
the FBI’s July 31, 2016, counterintelligence investigation, is referenced in the FISA,
yet there “is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos,”
according to a House Intelligence Committee memo. Moyer testified that without the Steele dossier,
the Carter Page FISA would have had a “50/50” chance of achieving the probable cause standard
before the FISA court. Notably, the Steele dossier is generally considered
to have been largely discredited. On Sept. 19, shortly after Steele completed
his latest three memos, FBI General Counsel James Baker met with Perkins Coie partner
Michael Sussmann, the lawyer the DNC turned to on April 28, 2016, after discovering the
alleged hack of their servers. Sussman, who sought out the meeting, presented
Baker with documents that Baker described as “a stack of material I don’t know maybe
a quarter inch half inch thick something like that clipped together, and then I believe
there was some type of electronic media, as well, a disk or something.” The information that Sussmann gave to Baker
was related to what Baker described as “a surreptitious channel of communications”
between the Trump Organization and “a Russian organization associated with the Russian Government.” Baker was describing alleged communications
between Alfa Bank and a server in the Trump Tower. The allegations, which were investigated by
the FBI and proven to be false, were widely covered in the media. According to Baker’s testimony, there appears
to have been at least three meetings with Sussmann—the first in person and at least
two subsequent meetings by phone. In either the second or third conversation,
Baker came to understand The New York Times was also in possession of Sussmann’s information. As would become clear later, other members
of the media also had this same information. As Baker was meeting with Sussmann, Steele
was back in Washington for a series of meetings that included his DOJ contact, Bruce Ohr. On Sept. 23, 2016, Ohr again met with Steele
for breakfast, telling lawmakers during testimony, “Steele was in Washington, D.C., again,
and he reached out to me, and, again, we met for breakfast, and he provided some additional
information.” Ohr said this meeting concerned similar topics
that were discussed at the July 30, 2016, meeting but did not provide further details. Ohr would also meet either that same month
or in early October with FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and DOJ career officials
from the criminal division, Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman (Ohr testified
that he was unsure whether Weismann was at this or a later meeting). Both Weissman and Ahmad would later become
part of the team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller. On the same day that Bruce Ohr met with Christopher
Steele for breakfast, on Sept. 23, 2016, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff published an
article about Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. The article, which was headlined “U.S. intel
officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin,” was based on an interview
with Steele. Isikoff’s article would later be used by
the FBI in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant application on Carter
Page as corroborating information. Following the publication of the Isikoff article,
the Hillary for America campaign released a same-day statement touting Isikoff’s “bombshell
report” with the full article attached. A second lengthy article was published on
Sept. 23, by Politico, “Who Is Carter Page? The Mystery of Trump’s Man in Moscow,”
by Julia Ioffe. This article was particularly interesting
as it appeared to highlight media efforts by Fusion GPS:
“As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate ‘corporate
investigators’ digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has
to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed
Democratic donors; the other won’t say who turned him on to Page’s scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating
Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently
Putin’s chief of staff—both of whom are on the sanctions list—when Page was in Moscow
in July for that speech.” Ioffe noted that “seemingly everyone I talked
to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators
who drew a dark and complex web of Page’s connections.” Her article also mentioned rumors regarding
Alfa Bank. It was probably during this same trip to Washington
that Steele also met with Jonathan Winer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state
for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya, whom Steele had known
since at least 2010. Winer had received a separate dossier, very
similar to Steele’s, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This “second dossier” had been compiled
by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims
made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the “second
dossier.” Steele then shared this second dossier with
the FBI, who may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele’s own dossier. Steele was also meeting with U.S. media during
his D.C. visit, and doing so “at Fusion’s Instruction.” According to UK Court documents Steele testified
that he “briefed” The New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker,
and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media
contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, Washington Post,
and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were
“conducted verbally in person.” Thank you for watching Part 1 of Spygate;
Part 2 will be released very soon. Please leave your comments below. What do you think about Spygate and all the
players involved? Thank you for joining us, and I look forward
to seeing you tomorrow.

100 comments

  1. And there it is! THE most comprehensive Report on #SpyGate as it is unfolding!
    KUDOS to Gina, Jeff & the DECLASSIFIED Team!!

  2. It's interesting to see the Falun Gong host a conspiracy report about the US Government. No longer about meditation, but about political gain.

  3. WOWW, this will make a blockbuster hollywood movie…FINALLY THE TRUTE IS OUT (which everyone in the world knew, even the people who tried to stitch TRUMP) now the final screen in this blockbuster movie …. ( bring all of them to justice, and lock them up ) …. President Trump see you again in the WH 2020..

  4. This is an amazing video. Thank you DECLASSIFIED Team, thank you Epoch Times, journalism at its very best.

  5. How can we the people can ever trust this corrupt government ever again after Clinton and bush and obama they have deceived and the lies and deception and they have sold the American people out and turned America into a third world country and the answer to this is trump and never vote for a scum head democrat again

  6. Donald Trump is absolutely unfit for Office. Don't listen to his bullshit people. He is deflecting his corrupt ways towards people who don't deserve it. Sad sad sad!

  7. 19:00 actually Papadopoulos claimed on Fox that he informed the FBI himself as soon as he thought he was dealing with people who could be connected to the Russian government. You should ask him because it makes quite a difference.

  8. The left got exactly what they deserved. To try to fix an election as they thought us deplorables too stupid to see through what they were doing to Trump. I hope a bunch go to prison and are disbarred. Steele should be placed on the sanctioned list and never be allowed back in this country. He is despicable. When you lie and cheat your way to win something it will get you in the end. Maybe not right away but eventually.

  9. Gina S. Of EPOCH TIMES.
    Great Report, Great Job.
    You pulled all the time lines, and all the criminal acts and behavior all together. In one complete report. At an attempt to overthrow an elected President of the United States, Donald Trump.
    Thank You, Great Job.

  10. This is great info…….,with all this evidence and still nothing has been done, it simply explains that trump is fighting against the establishment which includes (FBI,CIA,DOJ,CONGRESS AND ALL MAJOR GOVERNMENT BODIES AND THE FAKE CONTROLLED NEWS NETWORKS) BUT STAY STRONG SIR(trump), ALMIGHTY GOD IS KEEPING YOUR BACK.

  11. I can't wait to read the book on how this turns out! You know there are movie Directors "DROOLING"! . Hopefully Hollywood will make it as accurate as your thorough reports. We will know the difference.

  12. How convenient for Obama to sign and remove those restrictions which protected his administration ie: Holder, etc., and institure it's removal in time for the Russian Collusion investigation.

  13. years of corruption, I'm still trying to figure out how a nobody like Obama became president for eight years, sold arms to terrorists, toppled governments, dirty deals with Russia and left a millionaire.

  14. When a Muslim President gets gay marriage legalized, as he is flooding this country with radical Islamic ideologies. LGBT believes it was for the purpose of Identifying gays when Islam took over America. Plausible. That is why Trump is not touching gay marriage….he knows what it was for. Trump is compensating LGBT.

  15. Unfortunately most will never view this information. I am going to have to watch this again, too much info. Is the Map public?

  16. Hey patriots get ready for ton of false flags coming our way cuz the dems are desperate.God protect all the innocent that may suffer from these false flags. GOD BLESS AMERICA. TRUMP2020!!!

  17. This is a truly detailed account, Has anyone Translated this into Spanish? They seem to have Spanish Fake news too, So many people don't know about these truths!

  18. All this can't be True, Joe Biden said there wasn't even a whisper of Corruption in the Obama white house LOL

  19. THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU FROM THE UK. We have long waited to know what had happened, both here and the US. WOW. Bye Bye May. :-]

  20. Nicely done….this reads out like a spy novel!!!!!!! Unbelievable that this was done to Trump….wow!!!!!

  21. Orangeman Bad
    1 month ago said:
    The election of Donald Trump will go down in history as a major turning point in restoring the greatness of this country. Let freedom ring!

    Are we going to sit by and not help out? I mean to help our President clean up this country. How you may ask? I am not talking about voting for him but to Vote OUT every one in the office and bring a brand new congress and senate, NO MORE bought and paid off congressperson and senators have the new government to first change some of the laws that help our President is needing. and watch our new government from then own.

  22. You will Never see this kind of In depth reporting & analysis from the MSM-Kudos to you all. I shared pt 1 on my Facebook page and will share pt 2 tomorrow.

  23. I appreciate the information, but you lay out so many dates and characters that one gets lost in the weeds. I know there are many moving and overlapping points, but this report confused me. I can not listen as fast as you talk, Gina.

  24. Shakespeare is quite good at her job and I enjoyed Macbeth. I find her hand movements a little distracting, however.

  25. Remember during the Hillary campain, she stated that there were 17 intel agencies investigating Trump/Russia. We now know about five of those; does anyone know of the other agencies? We need to learn about those agencies.

  26. Excellent journalistic piece: no propaganda, no insults or name calling, no meaningless chants, no blatant omissions of facts. Just the facts in a coherent and well delivered report.

  27. How i miss real Investigative Journalism,it's so nice to see Journalist doing their job,and reporting the truth.

  28. This is getting juicey…geads are gonna roll…tea time…cheers great reporting just great….?cool

  29. Wonderful…wow what manipulation…over nothing but covering up coverups because of clinton and obama

  30. Comprehensive? I didn't hear that part. What is this show about again? Are her glasses prescription or just for looks. Well they're are working just fine for me. Did you just say fine? Fine? Oh you mean her. Yeah she is pretty fine I guess. She's probably married anyway. That sucks cause I'm totally trying to find a girlfriend to travel around the World with. I'm taking a year vacation since I sold my company. Not to worried about the deal I made. I didn't have it very long. I like my other company better. Plus who doesn't love getting a couple billion dollars every once in a while I didn't have time for it anyway. Two companies plus my regular job was just too much maybe. Oh shit, gotta go. I can't be late because I'm a news anchor. Who would deliver news if I didn't show up on time. Jeez, I gotta think about getting another anchor person for back up. Preferably a female. Guess I shouldn't rush it. Maybe when I get back from Bali. Anyway, good show. THANKS!

  31. The Democrat Party is a giant continent wide political machine similar to Tammany Hall. It plunders tax monies to engage in various racket influenced corrupt practices which benefit Party members & Patrons.

  32. The Democrat Party political class has used the Russian collusion delusion to psychological project illicit international racketeering they have been engaged in Ukraine, Syria & Russia on Trump & Putin. The Russians & others have always tried to influence our politics & elections. If they have tried harder since 2015 it's secondary to Democrat meddling in Ukraine & Syria.

  33. Spygate or criminal investigation which is true? President Trump's profile and core behaviors coupled with his association with known Russian oligarchs is prime face evidence of conspiracy.

  34. No wonder nothing ever accomplished! So busy shuffling and burying info! Massive unprecedented abuse of power

  35. Hundreds of Persecuting Attorneys all over the United States both Democrats and Republican disagree.

  36. I would urge everyone to research this Video before you go any further in trying to understand what the Globalist have planned and connect the dots ….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re24-prE-FoQueen's agent Arvinder Sambei orchestrates overthrow of Trump

  37. Just wait, when the liberal scum that is doing its best to destroy our soveriegnty using our border to keep the door open for sex trafficking and tons of dope to take out young people.

  38. Extremely great; the entire scheme, players, time line is all laid out. My head is spinning! Desperate for part 2, Thanks, GM

  39. YouTube keeps trying to switch to someone else but I'm going with Gina I love how she says FBI "if"BI. What a hottie.

  40. Love the content.
    Gina's voice, however, becomes painful to listen to. Unorthodox pronunciation, monotonous, zero tonality, lack of emotion, sounding like a run-on-sentence. You need to consider hiring an American English speaking woman, that is skilled in engaging your viewers, and relays the facts and details with conviction, inflection, and personality.

  41. "liberalism is an emotional, self hating, lying, suicidal, racist, mental disorder" ~ Dr. Mike Savage 2012?
    HEY HO , FASCIST ANTIFA SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS HAVE TO GO …HEY HO , FASCIST ANTIFA SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS HAVE TO GO!!! RE ELECT DONALD TRUMP , AN AMERICAN WHO HASN'T SOLD OUT AMERICANS , A AMERICAN WHO STILL ACTUALLY LOVES AMERICA , AN AMERICAN WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE IN ABORTIONS UP TO BIRTH !! A AMERICAN WHO STILL HAS MORALS!

  42. Obama is a criminal.Garbage by CNN, MSNBC,GOOGLE/YouTube again NO CREDIBILITY with hard left Silicon valley politics. Really tired of this entire BS! Omar, Cortez, Clinton, Pelosi and most Democrats get away with it and Republicans are so dawn stupid they plead guilty to garbage accusations so the criminals like Obama, Clinton, Soros, Comey, Mueller and CNN deep state get away with it !I guess the crime syndicate alias Dems/deep state is pure evil and can get away with murder .I’m blaming the Republicans for all of this ;so weak and useless against the well oil Democratic criminal machine, even screwed over Bernie. Okay to lie to the FBI if you’re a democrat. Fraud, corruption, election rigging, uranium exports, and misleading the public pure sick Dems. Mueller equals major conflict of interests makes his investigation legally null and void! Let the president work in peace, God bless him. No borders equals no country. Trump is not for sale unlike most of the swamp or Dems. Start learning Spanish, you’ll need it to survive, the invasions are just starting and more illegal Latinos more illegal votes for criminal Dems.

  43. The Communists Globalists cant beat us on an Economic Front. They cant beat us on the Battle Field Front. They sent in a bunch of their ‘Russian Elites’ as contractors to help in Syria against American Interests. We almost wiped them completely out in a moment of time. Now, they have been embedding themselves in our society for a long time now just waiting for the right time. So now they try to subvert our country from within. This is what we are witnessing. They seek to divide and conquer us from within.

  44. Awesome info. She is probebly a wonderfull Lady , but….my word, her voice is sooooo monitone and extreemly difficult to listen to. Terrible ?

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