The longer the special counsel investigation drags on, the more we are seeing some damaging information revealed, not about any type of "collusion," between Russia and President Trump, because to date not one person charged has been charged with collusion, but about the outrageous corruption within the FBI and DOJ, and even the special counsel's office itself, dubbed in this article as "Team Mueller."
Brief Background Recap: Former FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI special counsel Lisa Page were both agents temporarily assigned to the special counsel team run by Robert Mueller until the DOJ Office of Special Investigator revealed text messages between the two agents, who reportedly were having an affair, that showed clear bias against the then-candidate Donald Trump, in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Strzok played key roles in both the Hillary Clinton private server/classified emails investigation and the Russia investigation.
When those text messages were exposed and subject to investigations by the Senate, the House and the OIG's office, it was revealed that some messages ranging from December 13, 2016 through May 17, 2017 (The same day Mueller was appointed to investigate whether their was any collusion between President Trump and Russia), were missing.
THE NEW DOJ INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT
The OIG was tasked to investigate and if possible, recover those text messages from that critical time frame when Strzok and other members of the FBI and DOJ, most no longer with the agencies, were aggressively pushing the "Russia collusion" investigation.
While the OIG finally recovered thousands of previously unrevealed texts between Strzok and Page from their FBI issued phones, we now see from a new OIG report on the recovery process, that the devices issued to Strzok and Page, while they were actively working on Team Mueller, were reset to factory defaults by the Special Counsel's office without retaining the data/texts.
From page two and three of the new OIG report, which is also embedded lower in the article.
(Note- DOJ is the Department of Justice, SCO refers to the Special Counsel's Office and FBI ESOC is the FBI's Enterprise Security Operations Center)
In view of the content of many of the text messages between Strzok and Page, the OIG also asked the Special Counsel's Office (SCO) to provide to the OIG the DOJ issued iPhones that had been assigned to Strzok and Page during their respective assignments to the SCO. Stnok and Page had each returned their DOJ-issued iPhones six months earlier when their assignments to the SCO had ended. The OIG was told that the DOJ issued iPhone previously assigned to Strzok had been re-issued to another FBI agent following Strzok's departure from the SCO. The SCO obtained the iPhone from that individual and provided it to the OIG. CYBER obtained a forensic extraction of the iPhone previously assigned to Strzok; however. this iPhone had been reset to factory settings and was reconfigured for the new user to whom the device was issued. It did not contain data related to Strzok's use of the device. SCO's Records Officer told the OIG that as part of the office's records retention procedure, the officer reviewed Strzok's DOJ issued iPhone after he returned it to the SCO and determined it contained no substantive text messages.
The SCO was unable to locate the iPhone previously assigned to Page, which had been returned to DOJ's Justice Management Division (JMD). Subsequently, in early September 2018, JMD informed the OIG that it had located the iPhone that had been assigned to Page. The OIG took custody of the device. Page's iPhone had been reset to factory settings on July 31, 2017, but had not been reissued to a new user. (The Office of the Deputy Attorney General told the OJG that the Department routinely resets mobile devices to factory settings when the device is returned from a user to enable that device to be issued to another user in the future.) The OJG forensic review of the phone determined that it did not contain any data related to Page's use of the device. SCO's Records Otlicer stated that she did not receive the phone following Page's departure from the $CO and therefore she did not review Page's iPhone for records that would possibly need to be retained prior to the phone having been reset. As noted on page 395 of the OIG's June 2018 report entitled, "A Review of Various Actions by the Fedel'a! Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election," https://www.iustice.gov/file/l07199J/download, the Department, unlike the FBI, does not have an automated system that seeks to retain text messages, and the service provider only retains such messages for 5 to 7 days.
So, Team Mueller "reviewed" Strzok's texts, claimed their was "no substantive text messages," and in the midst of the two agents engulfed in scandal and rhetoric from previous texts already revealed, and multiple congressional investigations which included Strzok and Page, as well as active OIG investigation into those texts and the actions of the Obama intelligence community members in the FBI and DOJ, decided to reset the phones in question to factory defaults, therefore wiping out the data the OIG needed to investigate.
While a policy to wipe a phone when preparing to reissue it to another user, is understandable, doing it with two devices of FBI employees who are under active investigation, and were removed from Mueller's team because of similar data, gives the logical perception that Team Mueller, the FBI and/or the DOJ, were trying to hide something.
While much of the new OIG report details the excruciating processes and tools used to recover the data from multiple devices associated with Strzok and Page, on page 9 the OIG gives an example that caught my eye.
During its final quality assurance checks in May 2018, the OIG located an additional cache of text messages in a database identified as "enterprise.db." This was in addition to the OIG's having recovered text messages on the S5 phones in locations where they are typically located through the use of forensic extraction tools. This database appeared to retain a copy of text messages sent and received beginning shortly after the phone was issued until the day the phone was no longer connected to the service provider. The database included text messages sent and received during the period the device was in use, including during the period of the FBl's collection tool failure. Strzok was issued his S5 on or about January 26, 2015 and the enterprise.db had text messages beginning on February 3, 2015. The FB( was unable to determine when Page was issued her S5; however, the database had text messages beginning on February 12, 2016. Additionally, enterprise.db contained other phone activity such as call logs.
Through the extraction of text messages from the enterprise.db database, the OIG recovered 74,385 lines of text messages from Strzok's phone and 52,39S lines of text messages from Page's phone. These text messages included those between Stnok and Page as well as those that they had with other individuals.
In addition, for the period prior to the collection tool failure, when the OIG compared the text messages in the enterprise.db database with those the OIG obtained from FBI ESOC, it became apparent that there were messages found in the enterprise.db database that had not been collected by the FBI's collection program, as well as some messages that were not in the enterprise.db database but that had been collected by the FBl's collection program. As an example, although the FBl's collection program had collected (and therefore produced to the OIG) the text message on August 8, 20 I 6, from Page to Strzok that stated, "He's not ever going to become president, right? Right?!", it had not collected Strzok's response that same day which stated, "No, No he's not. We'll stop it." It was only through the enterprise.db extraction that the OIG obtained this Strzok text message.
The OIG did not note any "discemable patterns regarding the content," that could be found on one database versus another as to "content," but the fact that the FBI had no problem producing the question by Page, Strzok's response telling her "We'll stop him," was not handed over by the FBI, but was suject to the OIG efforts to recover the missing texts.
That is significant because in the OIG's June 2018's, 568 page report titled "A Review of Various Actions by the Fedel'a! Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election," the OIG specifically referred that same exchange of texts, saying it indicated that "Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects."
From page 10 of that report:
In assessing the decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop, we were particularly concerned about text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions they made were impacted by bias or improper considerations. Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, and the implication in some of these text messages, particularly Strzok’s August 8 text message (“we’ll stop” candidate Trump from being elected), was that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. Under these circumstances, we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.
(Note- Midyear investigation was the name the FBI gave to the Hillary Clinton private server/classified email invesigation.)
While scrubbing the devices of two agents embroiled in investigation and scandal is suspicious, other news regarding the "entrapment" of Michael Flynn, shows not only underhanded tactics were used by former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired after the DOJ Inspector General and the FBI's disciplinary office charged that McCabe had made unauthorized releases of information to the media and had lied about it, but that the agents report of their interview with Flynn, called 302's, were not written until seven months after the interview occurred, which was after Mueller was appointed as special counsel. (The WSJ link above is behind a paywall, but can be seen at Outline)
Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI to avoid bankruptcy and to spare his son from becoming targeted by Robert Mueller, as reported by WSJ, provided the court with additional facts ahead of his upcoming sentencing.
The Flynn filing describes government documents concerning the Jan. 24, 2017 meeting with two FBI agents when Mr. Flynn supposedly lied. It turns out the meeting was set up by then Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who personally called Mr. Flynn that day on other business—to discuss an FBI training session. By Mr. McCabe’s account, on that call he told Mr. Flynn he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with him to talk about his Russia communications.
Mr. McCabe then urged Mr. Flynn to meet without a lawyer present. “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Mr. Flynn] and the agents only. I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Mr. Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants,” wrote Mr. McCabe in a memo viewed by the Flynn defense team.
The WSJ piece, also reveals that one of those agents, was none other than Peter Strzok.
If the goal was to set a legal trap, it worked. The two agents showed up at the White House within hours of Mr. McCabe’s call, and they reported in the 302 that General Flynn had been “relaxed and jocular” and “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.” One of the agents was Peter Strzok, who is famous for his anti-Trump texts to his FBI paramour.
Now the sentencing Judge, District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, is demanding to see some specific documents, including the McCabe memo, and the summary of notes taken, (the 302's) during the Jan. 24, 2017 interview between Flynn and Strzok and another FBI agent.
According to The Daily Caller, while the interview was conducted in January 2017, the 302's, which is the form is used by FBI agents to "report or summarize the interviews that they conduct, were not compiled until August 22, 2017.
That summary, known as an FD-302, was compiled on Aug. 22, 2017 by the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn. It is unclear why the summary was put together seven months after the Flynn interview.
Hopefully that is a question the judge will be asking.
Via the DC: "Sullivan also ordered the special counsel to hand over any other memos or interview notes relevant to Flynn’s interview."
Those 302's are an important factor here because back in January 2018, Sarah Carter reported that according to multiple sources, Andrew McCabe asked FBI agents to change their 302s.
She spoke to Sean Hannity about that in January, which can be seen at approximately the 55 second mark in the video interview below.
As a quick reminder, the FBI agents originally "didn't think he was lying," so it seems reasonable to wonder whether their original 302's were not sufficient to "trap" Flynn, and if McCabe did order them to change their summary notes, in order for Team Mueller to charge Flynn. The fact that these summary notes by the agents weren't compiled until after Mueller was appointed, seems to be a very suspicious coincidence.
Laura Ingraham and Rep. Devin Nunes discuss the Flynn trap and the issue of the seven month delay by the FBI in compiling those summary notes.
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