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Former top FBI attorney James Baker admitted to House lawmakers in October last year that the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia was riddled with abnormalities.
Confronted with a damning summary of abnormalities, bias, and omissions, which transpired during the investigation, Baker told Congress that the investigation indeed was “highly unusual.”
Members of the House judiciary and oversight committees conducted the interviews in an unclassified setting, with agency counsel present to ensure that classified information didn’t enter into the unclassified setting. The transcripts of the interviews have not been publicly released, but were obtained for this article.
More important, Mr. Ohr told this team the information came from the Clinton camp and warned that it was likely biased, certainly unproven. “When I provided [the Steele information] to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information,” he testified. “I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware. These guys were hired by somebody relating to—who’s related to the Clinton campaign, and be aware.”
Mr. Ohr testified that he sat down with dossier author Christopher Steele on July 30, 2016, and received salacious information the opposition researcher had compiled on Mr. Trump. Mr. Ohr immediately took that to the FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andy McCabe and lawyer Lisa Page. In August he took it to Peter Strzok, the bureau’s lead investigator. In the same month, Mr. Ohr believes, he briefed senior personnel in the Justice Department’s criminal division: Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz, lawyer Zainab Ahmad and fraud unit head Andrew Weissman. The last two now work for special counsel Robert Mueller.
Everybody knew. Everybody of consequence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department understood fully in the middle of 2016—as the FBI embarked on its counterintelligence probe of Donald Trump—that it was doing so based on disinformation provided by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That’s the big revelation from the transcript of the testimony Justice Department official Bruce Ohr gave Congress in August. The transcripts haven’t been released, but parts were confirmed for me by congressional sources.
He argued with others, including then-FBI Director James Comey, about the issue all the way toward the end of the investigation, but was ultimately persuaded that Clinton should be exonerated.
“My original belief … after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials, I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged,” Baker told lawmakers.
As of October 2018, nearly two years after the Clinton probe concluded, Baker still believed that the conduct of the former secretary of state and her associates was “appalling” with regard to the handling of classified information.
The House judiciary and oversight committees—which interviewed nearly two dozen witnesses—concluded in December last year that the DOJ under President Barack Obama treated Trump and Clinton unequally by affording Clinton and her associates extraordinary accommodations, while potentially abusing surveillance powers to investigate Trump’s associates.
During lawmaker questioning of Baker’s interactions with Mother Jones reporter David Corn, it was revealed that Baker was the subject of an ongoing criminal leak investigation by the DOJ. Baker admitted to having received parts of the Steele dossier from Corn. Baker testified that these sections were different than the ones already in the FBI’s possession.
"Mr. Baker: My recollection is that he had part of the dossier, that we had other parts already, and that we got still other parts from other people, and that — and nevertheless some of the parts that David Corn gave us were parts that we did not have from another source."
Baker said he either knew or assumed at the time that Corn had gotten the dossier from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, whom Steele was working for.
Baker testified that it was Michael Sussman, a partner at Perkins Coie, who shared with him information that detailed alleged communications between servers in Trump Tower and servers located in Russia at Alfa Bank, which were eventually debunked. Sussmann was also the lawyer who spearheaded the handling of the alleged hack of the DNC servers. Baker admitted that it was highly unusual to interact with an outside counsel.
" Mr. Jordan: [This] is the first time and to your recollection the only time an outside counsel had information and was wanting to make sure it got to the general counsel of the FBI, and it happened to deal with the Russia investigation.
Mr. Baker: I that that’s correct. Sitting here today, that’s the only one I can remember."
Baker had at least three meetings with Sussman—the first in person and the following two by phone. During the subsequent meetings, Baker discovered that Sussman was speaking to the media regarding the same information he shared with Baker.
Baker admitted during his testimony that he knew Sussman had professional involvement with the DNC.
Baker acknowledged that he soon discovered that Sussman was also speaking to The New York Times regarding that same information. The FBI later contacted The New York Times and asked them to hold off on publishing while they investigated the matter.
The information Sussman passed to Baker also appeared in the so-called Steele dossier in a memo dated Sept. 14, 2016. Notably, Sussman met with Baker five days later, Sept. 19, 2016. Baker had initially testified he believed the meeting took place sometime after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application on Carter Page was approved. Lawmakers later provided a corrected, earlier date.
How anyone can hate Trump so much, that they can ignore these facts which have been known to a great many of us for quite some time is in and of itself, delusional
originally posted by: pavil
a reply to: Aallanon
I'll dive into this after work. Thanks for posting.
Epoch Times really has scooped the rest of the MSM with all these transcripts, if true.
How did they do that when all the Big Boys couldn't or wouldn't dig for these same Transcripts? As far as I know, no one has disputed them as false.
originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: Boadicea
I star everyone i reply to, especially if i dont agree. I dont think Obama is innocent by any means, but Hillary has a well established history of being unscrupulous on her own accord.
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