Category Archives: FBI

The FBI’s Raid on James O’Keefe

WSJ  11/18/2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland still refuses to retract the memo he sent last month instructing the Department of Justice to scrutinize parents protesting at local school board meetings. Now his department may have committed another civil-liberties abuse with its raid on Project Veritas leader James O’Keefe.

Project Veritas is a right-wing media organization known for going undercover inside progressive institutions and using its findings to embarrass them. Early morning a week ago Saturday, FBI agents raided Mr. O’Keefe’s New York apartment, handcuffed him in the hallway and seized two cell phones. He has not been charged with a crime.

The subject of the investigation is apparently a diary believed to belong to President Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden. Project Veritas says it was given the diary by two individuals last year and chose not to publish it because its authenticity couldn’t be verified, then handed it over to law enforcement. The diary was later published by an obscure website.

It’s settled law that it’s not a crime for journalists to publish information that was obtained unlawfully. If it was a crime, most of America’s largest news organizations would be criminal enterprises. Project Veritas says the people who gave the group the diary said it was not stolen. How the diary was obtained, and how it came to be published by a different website, is still murky.

Yet the search warrant says Justice is investigating “possession of stolen goods” and related offenses, suggesting Project Veritas or its employees may be targets. Imagine if the Trump Administration raided New York Times editors’ homes after the publication of the President’s tax records—or even for an investigation into documents they did not ultimately publish.

Nothing that invasive ever happened. But partly in response to the furor over the Trump Administration’s supposed threat to press freedom, Mr. Garland published guidelines in July narrowing Justice’s ability to seize information from reporters. The policy said Justice “will no longer use compulsory legal process” against journalists “acting within the scope of newsgathering activities.”

There are exceptions for things like the threat of imminent terrorist acts, or where a reporter “has used criminal methods, such as breaking and entering” to obtain information. Mr. Garland’s deputy must also approve any searches.

The seizure of Mr. O’Keefe’s phones gives the FBI access to all of Project Veritas’ investigations, not just records related to the diary. When Mr. O’Keefe’s lawyer asked the government after the raid to pause its search for a day to address legal issues regarding “attorney client privileged information, material protected by the First Amendment, and confidential donor information,” the government refused.

Last Thursday federal Judge Analisa Torres ordered the government to pause. She’ll consider Mr. O’Keefe’s motion to have a court-appointed “special master” keep the FBI from snooping on protected records.

The government also confirmed in correspondence with Mr. O’Keefe’s attorney that it “complied with all applicable regulations and policies regarding potential members of the news media”—meaning Mr. Garland’s guidance—in executing the search warrant.

That suggests Mr. Garland’s policy supposedly expanding press protections does the opposite. Reporters who obtain potentially stolen documents related to a public figure may be subject to the same treatment as Mr. O’Keefe—homes raided and devices seized and searched with no special dispensation for journalistic activity.

Journalism isn’t a shield against lawbreaking, and if Mr. O’Keefe committed a crime in obtaining the diary, he is subject to prosecution. We don’t agree with or practice all of Mr. O’Keefe’s methods, but what he does is reporting that qualifies as journalism.

The circumstances of the FBI raid were punitive. Project Veritas was in the process of complying with a subpoena. On Monday the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a motion for the court to unseal the documents that were the basis for the search warrant.

Those documents better contain very strong evidence of a crime committed by Project Veritas to justify this behavior by a Democratic Administration toward a journalist. If not, the seizure of Mr. O’Keefe’s records is another abuse of civil liberties by Mr. Garland’s department, and Congress ought to ask what the Attorney General knew about it.


New Anti-Woke University ‘Dedicated to the Fearless Pursuit of Truth’: University of Austin

Wow! I think this is momentous. Would not be surprised to see more ‘germinate’. Nor would it surprise me if the ‘Woke Left’ go after the graduates, trying to hamper their employment prospects. A sorry, if not evil, bunch. mrossol

New Anti-Woke University ‘Dedicated to the Fearless Pursuit of Truth’: University of Austin

“We’re done waiting for America’s universities to fix themselves.”

  • All-star higher education critics such as former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss, Harvard academic Steven Pinker, former Harvard University president Lawrence H. Summers, and playwright David Mamet have launched a new liberal arts university to counter what its founders believe is a growing culture of censorship on college campuses, reports The Texas Tribune.
  • “We’re done waiting for America’s universities to fix themselves,” states a promotional video for The University of Austin (UATX) posted on Twitter Monday morning. “So we’re starting a new one.”
  • “Universities devoted to the unfettered pursuit of truth are the cornerstone of a free and flourishing democratic society,” reads the UATX website.
  • “For universities to serve their purpose, they must be fully committed to freedom of inquiry, freedom of conscience, and civil discourse,” it goes on to say, adding, “In order to maintain these principles, UATX will be fiercely independent—financially, intellectually, and politically.”
  • The university’s leaders are in the process of acquiring land in the Austin area, developing degree programs (undergrad program estimated to arrive in the fall of 2024), and seeking accreditation, notes the Tribune.
  • In addition to offering a new curriculum, UATX boasts its “novel” financial model that lowers tuition for students and avoids “costly administrative excess and overreach.”
  • The University of Austin promises to restore the place of “freedom of inquiry and civil discourse” in higher education.
  • “Our students and faculty will confront the most vexing questions of human life and civil society,” another UATX page reads.
  • “We will create a community of conversation grounded in intellectual humility that respects the dignity of each individual and cultivates a passion for truth.”
  • UATX aims to redesign how universities operate by “developing a novel financial model.”
  • “We will lower tuition by avoiding costly administrative excess and overreach,” the site reads.
  • “We will focus our resources intensively on academics, rather than amenities.”
  • “We will align institutional incentives with student outcomes.”
  • “Our curriculum is being designed in partnership not only with the world’s great thinkers but also with its great doers—visionaries who have founded bold ventures, artists and writers of the highest order, pioneers in tech, and the leading lights in engineering and the natural sciences.”
  • “Students will apply their foundational skills to practical problems in fields such as entrepreneurship, public policy, education, and engineering,” the site goes on reading.
  • One Washington Examiner publication referred to the creation of UATX as “The best news in academia in a long, long time.”
  • “Put another way, the new University of Austin will stand against ‘cancel culture,’ speech codes, leftist indoctrination, ‘safe spaces’ for students who can’t bear opinions different from their own, obsessions with race and sex to the exclusion of substance, racial preferences in admissions, and hugely expensive administrative staffs,” the piece goes on to say. “True open-mindedness, not ideological straitjackets, will be the norm.”
  • “One might say this will be a campus where scholars will be open to questions and to questing, to discussion without repercussion, not because those scholars fear they are wrong but because they always strive to be more right. The humility to acknowledge human fallibility, including one’s own, is a necessary predicate for advancing and increasing knowledge rather than just regurgitating it.”
  • “[A]nyone who doesn’t welcome this broad-minded, cross-ideological entry into U.S. higher education has no real love of learning. The new University of Austin is a grand experiment worthy of universal applause,” the piece concludes.
  • Conservative radio host Glenn Beck tweeted the UATX founding is “the best news I’ve heard in 20 years.

Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith and author of “An American Revival: Why American Christianity Is Failing & How to Fix It.”


More Indictments Are Coming

If you don’t love Kash Patel, you don’t love the USA. Here’s an immigrant, or first-generation American(?) who “gets it” when so many [privileged] Americans don’t. Another fascinating discussion. (and if you don’t want to read it, you can listen – the link at the bottom of this post.) mrossol

9/27/2021 The Epoch Times

Special counsel John Durham is sending a signal that more indictments are coming, says Kash Patel.

“When you issue an indictment for lying to the FBI, like they did [Michael] Sussmann, it’s two to five pages max. It’s unheard of to be 27 pages. So why put all that information out there?” It’s “the biggest signal that more is coming,” says Kash Patel.

Kash Patel deposed former Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann as part of his investigations into allegations of Trump–Russia collusion with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and that deposition became a key part of Durham’s indictment of Sussmann, who was a lawyer for the Clinton campaign.

In this episode, he breaks down what’s in the indictment and where Durham’s investigation is likely headed.

Kash Patel: Hello everybody, and welcome back to Kash’s Corner.

Jan Jekielek: Kash, we’re going to talk about something that you played a pretty important role in today. We’re going to look at Perkins Coie’s lawyer, Michael Sussmann, and  the indictment against him by special counsel Durham. This is something a lot of people are talking about.

It’s a 27-page indictment for something that might typically take two to five pages. This is what I’m hearing from a lot of people. Briefly tell me, what is this?

Mr. Patel: We’ll get into the details, but with a 1001 count, [18 U.S.C. Sec. 1001] being a former federal public defender and federal prosecutor I dealt with these cases a lot, he is basically saying, “You came in and lied to law enforcement, to cops, and to the FBI.” And that’s what they’re saying Michael Sussmann did, they’re alleging that he went to the FBI and lied to them.

Those indictments tend to be two to five pages maximum. I’ve done them myself, and I’ve defended them myself. A lot of folks are curious as to why you would lay out what we call a 27-page speaking indictment. There are a number of reasons for doing it that way. I can only speculate, since I’m not John Durham.

Mr. Jekielek: So why don’t you break down what is in this indictment?

Mr. Patel: Michael Sussmann was one of the top two lawyers for the Hillary Clinton campaign when she was running for President in 2016 and the DNC. His law firm, Perkins Coie, had Sussmann and his partner, Marc Elias, be the top 2 lawyers in the entire country for the whole of the Hillary Clinton campaign for President and the Democratic National Committee.

So it was a large role played by these lawyers, because they were paid tens of millions of dollars to obtain this role and execute everything from election law, to campaign finance, to any criminal allegations that might come up, to state law as to how voting is supposed to be done in Alabama versus New York versus California, and to campaign ads. The gamut runs far and wide, which is why their retainer is so high, but they were the two premier lawyers for the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Mr. Jekielek: This is a bigger role than the first indictment that John Durham made, which was the indictment of Kevin Clinesmith.

Mr. Patel: So people forget, this isn’t John Durham’s first indictment, it is his second. John Durham charged Clinesmith with doctoring a document, an email to the federal judge in federal court that was reviewing the FISA application search warrant. So it was a pretty big deal that someone who worked at the FBI was charged with lying to a federal court, because he changed what was in an actual email, submitted that email to the court, and did it knowingly.

That first individual, Clinesmith, pleaded guilty, so he’s a convicted federal criminal. That was the first indictment from some months ago. This is the second one. Now we’re moving on to the private sector, to the lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s very interesting timing, and a very interesting read.

Mr. Jekielek: So you have the top Hillary Clinton lawyer, or one of the two top Hillary Clinton lawyers allegedly going out and lying to the FBI. What are they lying about?

Mr. Patel: In the indictment John Durham is alleging that Michael Sussmann on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign went into the FBI and met with the general counsel. Let’s just hit pause for a second. The FBI maybe has 40-some-thousand employees. The general counsel is the number one lawyer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Every other lawyer works for him. Sussmann was able to, based on his relationships with this lawyer and his service at DOJ before he went to Perkins Coie, get a meeting and walk into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters and sit down with the general counsel of the FBI, which is a big deal in and of itself.

According to the indictment, Sussmann went into this office to see Baker and provide this information that they’re talking about in the indictment, this stuff that we’ll get into about Alfa Bank. Sussmann had his team write a white paper that was allegedly paid for by the Clinton campaign.

He presented it to James Baker of the FBI and said, “I’m just being a good Samaritan, I need you guys to review this, and thanks for meeting with me.” What the indictment alleges as criminal conduct is not the handoff of that information. It’s that Sussmann, according to the indictment, lied about who his client was, who he was doing on behalf of, and who paid him to collect that information and submit it to the FBI.

Which is a lie. You’re lying to the FBI about it. He never revealed to Baker, according to the indictment, that his client was the Hillary Clinton campaign. In fact, according to the indictment, Sussmann actually goes out of his way to say that he is not there on behalf of anyone. He has just stumbled upon this information and is presenting it to James Baker at the FBI.

Mr. Jekielek: Of course, the information, what Sussmann was alleging, could have been incredibly significant if it were true.

Mr. Patel: Yes, if it were true. What Sussmann is alleging is—to get into the weeds of the whole Russiagate scandal from 2016 onwards while remembering the timing of this before the presidential election in 2016, September-ish, October-ish of 2016—he goes to the FBI and says, “I have information that Trump,” the other candidate, not his candidate, but the opposing candidate for President, “Trump’s building and his enterprise have been permeated by a Russian bank and a Russian internet server that’s allowing them to conspire with the Russian government and people in Russia to steal the election.” That was the allegation.

It would be pretty significant and pretty damning if it were true. The only problem is, per the indictment and per my own investigation when I ran Russiagate for Chairman Nunes on House Intelligence, we knew at the time none of that information was true. In fact, the FBI and this indictment flat out says that the people who did the research for Michael Sussmann said themselves that they didn’t believe that the connection between the Alfa Bank server and the Trump campaign even existed, and it would be a stretch to even put it down on paper. That’s all in the indictment.

So if it were true it would be pretty damning. I have a personal role in this because of my 2016 job back on the House Intel Committee.

Mr. Jekielek: Right, you actually wrote the deposition that forms a significant part of this indictment.

Mr. Patel: When we were charged in 2016 by the Speaker at the time to investigate what they call the Russian active measures against the U.S. election, part of our job under Chairman Nunes was to call in 60-some witnesses and swear them in under oath and depose them, and question them.

We deposed principals, attorney generals, FBI directors, deputies, private individuals, and Clinton campaign officers. One of the people we interviewed and deposed was Michael Sussmann, and I actually took that deposition. That deposition of Michael Sussmann’s sworn testimony from 2016 is cited in John Durham’s indictment from just the other week.

It takes part of the questioning and asks, “Were you, Michael Sussmann, working on behalf of anybody in regards to this Alfa Bank information?” In the deposition that I took he said, “Yes, it was on behalf of a client.” He repeated it and confirmed it. The deposition is in the indictment. It speaks for itself. But back then in 2016 he wouldn’t tell me who the client was, even though we knew.

They claimed attorney-client privilege and they wouldn’t let us get into who the figure was. But we had proven it back then, which is why we took that deposition with such rigor in that line of questioning.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s very interesting. Let’s actually sketch this out.

Mr. Patel: So Perkins Coie, this huge, very well-respected international behemoth law firm is hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to be their lawyers for the presidential election cycle of 2016. Big job, right? Obviously you’re representing the Democratic nominee for President and the entire Democratic National Committee.

So Elias and Sussmann are the two guys overseeing this entire architecture of legal representation. And those guys, Perkins Coie, get paid tens of millions of dollars from the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

What do Sussmann and Elias do? They take that money and go out and hire Fusion GPS, an internet research firm, which I’m sure many of our viewers are familiar with. I believe they’re the ones cited in the indictment, Fusion GPS and their CEO, Glenn Simpson. They paid Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS millions of dollars to conduct research against President Trump’s campaign, including all the Russia stuff.

Then Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele, who I’m also sure viewers are now familiar with because of the Steele dossier. So, just to simplify, the money goes from the Hillary Clinton campaign, to Hillary Clinton campaign’s lawyers, to the people doing the internet research, Fusion GPS, and then to Steele. So the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign are paying for this research.

Mr. Jekielek: You mean opposition research?

Mr. Patel: Yes, opposition research. So they, the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, through Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS and Steele are paying millions of dollars to get opposition research against candidate Trump and his entire campaign. Bottom line, they’re spending millions of dollars on that.

Now in and of itself, I’ll tell you that there’s nothing wrong with getting opposition research against your opponent. That’s what political cycles do all the time, but this is problematic for reasons we are going to get into.

Mr. Jekielek: At the same time they’re running the whole legal operation and everything you just mentioned. Sussmann goes to someone he knows well at the top of the FBI legal team, Baker. He shows him this alleged connection between Alfa Bank and the Trump campaign.

At the same time, from what we know from this UK legal case where Christopher Steele was actually on the stand, we also know that it was Sussmann who introduced this Alfa Bank-Trump connection into the Steele dossier in the first place.

Mr. Patel: Right.

Mr. Jekielek: Which is, again, fascinating.

Mr. Patel: You’re talking about another track of this entire operation that’s outlined in Durham’s indictment. Not only did Sussmann, on behalf of the Clinton campaign per the indictment, take this information to the FBI, he’s also taking the information and seeding it into areas of the media.

So that’s the other problematic portion of the allegations in the indictment, because this information was false per the indictment. From my belief, and from my investigation of Russiagate, we knew it back then and now it’s coming out that it is so.

He’s not only seeding it to a law enforcement agency, which we’ll get to the details of that in a second as to what they did with it, but also the media, because they want the media to start running these stories before the election. And that’s exactly what happened.

So he gives it to Christopher Steele, and Steele starts giving it through Fusion GPS and others to people in the media. And Sussmann himself allegedly meets with people in the media to start planting these stories. And what happens? Right before the election there’s a story that breaks nationally that says, “It looks like President Trump is somehow connected with the Russian government through these Alfa Bank servers.”

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, even tweets it and pretends like she didn’t know anything about it. “Look at President Trump, he’s connected with Russians, don’t vote for him.” That’s pretty damning information to put out a week or two right before an election.

Mr. Jekielek: What you’re saying is that information from the same source, which is a highly politically motivated source, is going to both the press and the FBI.

Mr. Patel: Yes. You’re probably asking what’s the problem with that? We just highlighted why it was a problem for the media, because the information wasn’t true. You have a presidential candidate pushing it out and national media pushing it out on a U.S. presidential election.

Here’s the other problem, shifting back to the FBI component of this. Back in 2016 and ’17 and ’18 when we were conduction the Russiagate investigation on House Intel, we knew this information was false. But at the time what Sussmann was doing was propping it up as true and accurate, or at least credible.

He asked his FBI friends to take it and then use it in their investigations into the Trump campaign. So now not only do you have a political media sort of scandal investigation on one side, but as we now know also the FBI was on the verge of obtaining a FISA warrant against Carter Page, then a Trump campaign associate.

A FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant is extremely intrusive. It goes up on your phones, on your computers and everyone you’re talking to. You can see text messages, you can hear stuff, and you can read emails. It’s very, very invasive.

But as we now know, the FBI used that information, partly given from Sussmann, to help a federal judge obtain probable cause to go up and surveil this guy. So it’s a pretty big deal. Now for the first time that I know of in U.S. history, a presidential candidate is under surveillance right before the election, because of this information.

Mr. Jekielek: One of the things that’s been alleged is that they were expecting to actually find something by having these incredible surveillance tools at their disposal.

Mr. Patel: That’s one of biggest problems I have with that, as a former national security prosecutor who used the FISA process and applied for FISA warrants against terrorist targets, and went to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] and made those applications and the extensive work behind them. You’re not supposed to go to a federal judge and say, “We think this guy is bad and we hope to find out why he is bad. Please give us a warrant.”

That’s simplifying it enormously, but that’s the essence of it. You’re supposed to go to a federal judge and say, “These are the reasons the target is bad. These are the reasons we think he’s breaking the law.” And sometimes you’re proven wrong, but if you do it on a good faith basis, that’s okay. The law allows for that.

What the Hillary Clinton campaign did through Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS, Steele, and ultimately the FBI, is take information—that the FBI themselves couldn’t verify, and also culpatory information they also knew had sourcing problems—and put it in an application anyway.

And like you said, Jan, they took it to the FISC with fingers crossed. “Hopefully we get a warrant, then we’ll find out what we’re actually looking for,” which violates the purpose of a FISA warrant.

Mr. Jekielek: Okay, let’s cover a couple of things. We know that some of the people in this tech company were looking at this Alfa Bank-Trump organization connection. We know that they didn’t think there was really anything there. Basically what you said was that they knew it wasn’t true. This is what you’re saying. So just qualify that for me.

Mr. Patel: Sure. If you look at the Durham indictment—it’s not anything I know because I never talked to these tech companies or these researchers during our investigation—but what Durham says is that during his investigation the people that Sussmann hired to do the research regarding Alfa Bank, they themselves said in the indictment, “We don’t believe that there’s a connection here, and saying so in writing would almost be putting down a lie.”

I’m using my own words, but it’s in the indictment. So for me that’s where that information comes from, and that’s pretty damning. The person that Sussmann hired must say, “There’s a Trump-Alfa Bank-Russia connection.” Is the expert himself then saying, “There isn’t, and we can’t really get it there.” But then there’s more emails in the Durham indictment that say, “Well, how do we make it look so?”

Which is really problematic, because now you have the person who is the expert saying, “We can’t get there because the information doesn’t support it.”  But now there’s an exchange between the individuals involved who say, “How do we couch it? How do we mask it, so it’s like that anyway?”

That’s why Durham took so much time in laying out a 27-page indictment, so you are able to see the extent to which Sussmann’s work product for the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign went into the FBI, and the level it went to in deceiving people in the FBI and the FISC and the FISA warrant.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. There were a whole bunch of elements crafting this Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but how important was this Alfa Bank-Trump organization connection which was highlighted in late October?

Mr. Patel: I’ll just couch it like this. Flip the seats around the deck, move the deck chairs a little bit. Say President Trump’s campaign in 2016 hired law firm X to research a connection between the Clinton campaign headquarters and the government of Russia and a bank. Then say, “Whatever you find, make sure you put it down on paper and find experts to say that the Clinton campaign, irrespective of the facts, was coordinating and working with the Russian government right before the 2016 presidential election.”

That would have been international headline news. That’s exactly what, per the indictment, John Durham is saying the Clinton campaign did to the Trump campaign. That’s why it’s so problematic, but that’s also why it’s not getting a lot of coverage, because it’s against President Trump coming from the Clinton campaign. Most of the media doesn’t want to cover it, but I don’t think they’re going to be able to avoid it for much longer.

Mr. Jekielek: Another way to ask is would there have been a Mueller investigation without this specific piece of the puzzle?

Mr. Patel: That’s a great point. I think I overlooked that, yet I don’t know. Because this is another facet of what the Sussmann work product does here. It’s not just the media operation that they launched, it’s not just the FBI investigation and the FISA process against the presidential candidate, but ultimately we also had a special counsel.

And that special counsel was charged with finding out, among other things, was how this Alfa Bank stuff worked with the Trump campaign. Mueller was stood up in late spring, early summer of ’17. One of the questions that he was charged with answering was around these Russian connections surrounding Alfa Bank, because the information behind it hadn’t come out in our investigation.

Remember, Congress is very limited in terms of what we can get, the documents we can get, and the witnesses we can get to come forward. We don’t have the grant subpoena power, the investigatory powers, and the law enforcement agents doing our work. It’s just staffers on the Hill trying to do an oversight investigation.

Mueller comes in and can use all of the Department of Justice’s powers to go in and investigate this stuff. One of the main legs of his investigation was to look at some of this Alfa Bank stuff, because if true, it would have shown that Trump was coordinating with the Russian government.

Mr. Jekielek: I find this really fascinating that this is a very large 27-page indictment compared to what was necessary. Now I know you think there’s something bigger afoot here other than just simply this indictment and this charge.

Mr. Patel: I do, I do. Remember, it’s not just this one. It is this one coupled with the Clinesmith indictment. These two indictments cover the two big components that we’ve been talking about in the Russiagate investigation. This one is largely involved with the media campaign right before the election, and then seeding that into the FBI.

The Clinesmith indictment goes one step further and says, he, the lawyer at the FBI, took information from the intelligence community and doctored it and presented that to FISC, the FISA court. And so now you have a layered investigation in reverse almost.

He, Clinesmith, was the one closest to the FISC and the intelligence community. He, Michael Sussmann, is closest to the FBI and the media portion as it relates to Alfa Bank servers. So I think there’s a larger conspiracy at play here.

It’s laid out in the 27-page indictment Durham put out because he identifies not by name, but he identifies six to eight individuals by title. I can recognize most of them, if not all of them. Those are major players that we deposed and investigated during our 2017-18 investigation into Russiagate. So he’s just starting, if you want my opinion.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s really interesting because there’s a lot of people that didn’t expect to see an indictment of someone like Michael Sussmann. One of the things that folks are concerned about is justice being done. Actually, it’s very likely that Durham may be defunded, there’s only a few days left in his official funding. So what do you think about that?

Mr. Patel: It’s tragic that so many in the media are focusing on that and not a federal indictment for one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history, if not the biggest. This individual, Michael Sussmann, was just charged. A federal trial, a federal case on average takes 12 to 18 months to adjudicate, whether it’s by plea or trial.

So I laugh at anyone in the media who tells me they are worried about John Durham being defunded. He literally can’t be, because he is in the middle of a federal prosecution. So I don’t worry about any of that. He’s going to keep going, so there’s no defunding issue for me.

Mr. Jekielek: Again, this is very interesting because you’ve been one of the people that’s been kind of bullish on Durham, expecting that he would actually come through with something. It seems like he has. Another cause for concern which I’ve seen, and this is something that our friend, Lee Smith, has actually written about and that I’ve talked to him about—the judge in the case actually has some pretty strong connections with the Democratic party.

Mr. Patel: Yes.

Mr. Jekielek: Is this something people should be concerned about?

Mr. Patel: It’s something that should at least be looked at. As a former federal prosecutor and federal public defender, I know there are canons of ethics that apply to recusal for conflicts of interest. If I were the judge and someone brought forth an individual before me that I knew or had a relationship with through my universe, it would be a conflict of interest for me to sit over and preside over that trial, that proceeding. That’s sort of simplifying it.

So in this case, the judge that was assigned to the Sussmann case, his wife happens to be a prominent lawyer in town, and she represented Lisa Page, and still does. Who is Lisa Page? Just a quick refresher, she was the central FBI attorney who reported to Andy McCabe, and was special counsel for him. She also worked for James Baker at the time, who was the attorney who reviewed this entire FISA application process and worked hand-in-hand with Peter Strzok, the lead counterintelligence FBI investigator for the investigation into the Trump presidency.

By the way, they were having an affair and kept that information withheld from the American public and the FBI. So it would seem that this question should be asked in this larger conspiracy that is coming, “Is Lisa Page going to be a witness? Is she going to be a witness for the defense or the prosecution? Is someone calling her? Is Durham working with her? Is she cooperating?”

Conflicts of interest are supposed to be adjudicated, not on the eventuality that they’ll happen, but on the possibility that they might. Let’s just say this is how it plays out—Sussmann goes to trial and Lisa Page is brought into the courtroom, and this judge’s wife is the lawyer for the witness.

To me, that’s a conflict worth looking at. There are canons of ethics that guide and adjudicate that. What ticks off American people so much about Washington is this style of beltway insider operations that most of the public doesn’t even know about—the few that do are calling for it to be examined.

The best person to examine it is the judge and the Department of Justice. They should just say, “I can do my job fairly or else the case isn’t coming here.” John Durham can have a ex parte communication with the judge and say, “Look, this individual that your wife represents was a target, is a target, is an unindicted co-conspirator, could be a witness for the government, or could be a witness for the defense. You might find yourself overseeing a trial in which your wife represents the witness.”

Mr. Jekielek: As we’re speaking here, I’m thinking this is pretty big news.

Mr. Patel: Yes.

Mr. Jekielek: It doesn’t seem to be getting the attention that you might expect with big news like this. The funny part is I’ve almost been conditioned not to expect it to be treated that way. That’s what I just realized.

Mr. Patel: Yes, me too, me too. I’m glad we’re talking about it, but I don’t know if other people are going be talking about it.

Allow me to remind the audience who Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were. You have the number one lawyer responsible for the Russiagate investigation, and the number one FBI agent. While having an affair before the election, these two were literally texting each other and saying that they would stop candidate Trump from being President.

Just hit pause on that alone. The individuals charged to lead the investigation into the Trump campaign were texting each other before the election listing all the ways that they would stop it.

And now this person, Lisa Page, might be a witness or an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sussmann indictment. This is the type of stuff that should be newsworthy, and should be talked about. When it gets buried, this is the type of stuff that ticks off so many people in America, because the rules are applied differently to those that were in and running the Russiagate hoax versus those that revealed the Russiagate hoax.

Now all of a sudden you see the John Durhams of the world being excoriated. This guy, I remind you, is a 30-year-plus plus federal prosecutor. He’s worked for Democrats and Republicans alike.

Mr. Jekielek: And he’s known for getting his man, so to speak.

Mr. Patel: Yes. Democrats have appointed him to be U.S. attorney and Republicans have appointed him to be U.S. attorney. What more could you ask for in terms of a career prosecutor who is just doing the job and has established himself over and over again, namely during the rendition investigation back when the CIA was investigated about its enhanced interrogation techniques. That was led by John Durham, so his work speaks for itself.

Mr. Jekielek: In these kinds of situations, I can’t help thinking about how it’s only something like 3 per cent of cases ever go to trial.

Mr. Patel: Sure.

Mr. Jekielek: Almost everything gets resolved by plea bargains these days. That has its own issues that we’re not going to discuss today. It makes me think that a seasoned, re-appointed U.S. attorney like Durham has a broader plan with this indictment. He’s hoping to get some people to cooperate, to talk, and to expose some things that weren’t exposed before to build this case, and maybe build the case of a broader conspiracy. So how do you think he might be using this indictment?

Mr. Patel: For me, the 27-page indictment is the biggest signal that more is coming. Because when you issue an indictment for lying to the FBI, like they did with Sussmann, it’s two to five pages max. It’s unheard of to be 27-pages. So why put all that information out there? It’s exactly for that reason.

The public can now go and read the indictment and see what John Durham has been working on. It’s a way to announce pieces of investigation by name, by title—all of the six to eight individuals in the indictment identified as working with Sussmann, on behalf of Sussmann, who were paying Sussmann, and where the information was going. Because people are going to figure out who those individuals are.

The other thing is you talk about cooperation. Look, I’ve tried 60 trial cases to verdict in state and federal court, and sometimes people cooperate and sometimes they don’t. You don’t bring an indictment on the hopes that someone is going to cooperate. That’s not how federal trials are conducted. If you’re doing that, you’re going to fail.

You bring the best case that you can, and if someone cooperates along the way, then you can enhance your conspiracy charges, and maybe bring in other people that you weren’t initially looking at.

My question is, although we’ve got two people that have been charged, who hasn’t been charged and is cooperating? Are the Peter Strzoks of the world cooperating? Are the Lisa Pages of the world cooperating? James Baker, is he cooperating? He hasn’t been charged, but he’s been a central figure in all of this. Remember, he was the one who had to sign-off on the fraudulent FISA warrant.

So are those people cooperating? Are there people at Perkins Coie cooperating? What about at the Hillary campaign? This indictment cites individuals who are in communication at the Hillary campaign. The Hillary Clinton campaign manager, the communications director and one of their advisors were all in direct contact with Sussmann about all this Alfa Bank stuff. So have they been talked to?

I would imagine that you would put all those people in grand juries for interviews and then you obtain documents. I think that’s what is coming.

Mr. Jekielek: This has been going on for at least five years. I saw someone noted that perhaps one of the reasons why Durham made this indictment at the time he did was because the statute of limitations on making false statements is five years. At this point, five years in, for people that maybe don’t know the details, don’t know the nuance, and maybe don’t understand what actually happened—why is this important?

Mr. Patel: Sure. Let me address the timing first, and then the importance of it. So having run complex investigations, federal investigations, let me give you a perspective. Healthcare fraud investigations or Medicare fraud investigations take the government anywhere on average from three to seven years to investigate and adjudicate.

So those are going on for years and years and years and years, and then you finally have an indictment five years later. I’ve defended those cases. As a federal prosecutor, I’ve even brought conspiracy charges that were years in the making. So I know five years sounds like a long time, especially for people who aren’t familiar with the criminal justice system at the federal level, but it’s not. I have to remind people of this, and this segues to the second point.

Arguably, John Durham has been charged with investigating the biggest political scandal in U.S. history. Mind you, he’s only been on the job for two years. He didn’t come into play on day one, he came into play way later. So now, he’s bringing out charges inside of two years. I know it might not sound fast, but it’s kind of fast for federal level work, especially at that complicated level.

There is another reason why I think about its importance and timing. To simplify it for those who haven’t been following this like you have for three, four, five years—for many in our audience, just think of it this way. In the United States of America in 2016, in 2020, in 2024, is it okay for a political opponent during a presidential election to go out and buy false information, know that information is false, and submit it to the U.S. media in an effort to castigate their opponent in the presidential election?

Then is it okay to take that same information used in the media and submit it to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and know that this information is false, and think, “We’re not going to tell you guys.” But then say, “Please go up on a federal search warrant on my opponent to be the President of the United States, so we can dig up more dirt and make sure he does not become President of the United States.” Should that be allowed?

What we’ve been talking about for the last three, four, five years, and during this episode has happened. It took a couple of years. It took two congressional investigations. It took Bob Mueller as a special counsel, and John Durham as a special counsel, to look through all of this information.

Now we’re finally showing the American public what happened. Yes, it’s hard to simplify, but I think the magnitude can’t be highlighted any more than that. If you want a free and fair election for the President of the United States, you should care about John Durham’s investigation and where it goes.

Mr. Jekielek: Just to pick up on something we discussed a little bit earlier, it seems bizarre that the media are so reluctant in some ways to pick up on the story. And, of course, so many media in the past got it so terribly, terribly wrong.

Mr. Patel: I agree. Instead of you and I just going through the litany of articles that people got wrong, here’s what I suggest for our viewers. Go online and go back to 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19, ’20, and look up an article—it doesn’t matter what outlet it’s from—on the Russiagate investigation and look at the headlines. You don’t even have to look at the body of the work. Look at the headlines and see which outlets got it wrong time and time again, and which outlets got it right. See if you can do that.

See if the outlets you relied on so much to get your factual information were correct when they reported that candidate Trump was in the pocket of Putin. Go online and see if they were correct when the FBI and the DoJ came out and reported that there’s no way the FISA process could be abused in this fashion. “There’s too many people in charge, and there’s too many principals at play for that to occur.” See who wrote those articles.

Go ahead and see who wrote articles about private citizens and political campaigns, and what their involvement in the Russiagate scandal was then, and what it actually has shown to be now, i.e. Michael Sussmann and the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign and Perkins Coie. Don’t forget Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson. Go back and look at that trail and just look at the headlines, and you’ll see how broken the media is and why they’re not covering it as much as they should be today.

Mr. Jekielek: We’ll definitely link some of these infographics that we’ve created at The Epoch Times that will identify some leads for the investigation that you’re suggesting.

Mr. Patel: That would be great.

Mr. Jekielek: We’re about at the end here. It’s time for our shout out.

Mr. Patel: Okay, I’ve got a unique shout out this week, so just bear with me for a second. The shout out is for my Objective Medusa team. For those of you that don’t know who that is or what that is, you have to read and watch The Plot Against the President to get the full picture.

The Objective Medusa team was the warrior team that I was able to work with under Chairman Nunes on the House Intelligence Committee to run the Russiagate investigation. This indictment that we’re talking about today, the Sussmann and also the Clinesmith indictment, is for us a validation of so much of the work we did in 2017 and 2018, and that we were excoriated for personally. So to my Objective Medusa team, I miss you guys. This one is definitely for you.

Timeline of FBI’s FISA Abuse in Trump Campaign Investigation (Infographic)

Spygate: The True Story of Collusion (Infographic)

Timeline of the Durham Investigation (Infographic)

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The FBI’s Dubious Briefing

It stretches credulity to think that the FBI keeps getting into these “messes” because of ‘careless mistakes’. mrossol

WSJ  5/4/2021

Did the FBI set up two Members of Congress for political attack under the guise of a “defensive briefing”? It’s possible, and Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley are rightly demanding answers.

On Monday the Republicans sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines asking how the Washington Post came to know about an FBI briefing to both Senators on Aug. 6, 2020. A Post story last week used the info to smear Mr. Johnson and his report on Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, suggesting that he’d ignored FBI warnings and thus may have been manipulated by the Kremlin. The newspaper cited only anonymous “current and former U.S. officials.”

In their letter the Senators note that the briefing came after “pressure from Democratic Leadership.” In July 2020, the Democratic Members of the Gang of Eight—senior Members with access to intelligence secrets—had sent a letter and classified addendum to Mr. Wray specifically citing the Johnson-Grassley probe into Hunter Biden as reason for an urgent briefing for Congress about foreign “disinformation.” That news was then leaked, in what was an obvious attempt to tar the work of the two Republicans.


The two Senators became more concerned when the ensuing briefing by the FBI turned out to be what they described as “not specific” as well as “unconnected to our investigation.” (Their report was based on U.S. government documents.) They specifically expressed to the FBI during the briefing their concerns that it would be “subject to a leak” for partisan gain. Which is exactly what happened last week, despite the FBI’s promise to the Senators of confidentiality.

After the August briefing, Messrs. Johnson and Grassley sent a letter demanding that Mr. Wray and the intelligence community disclose the reason for it. They never received the answer. In light of last week’s leak, they are renewing their demand to know who recommended the briefing, and the intelligence that supposedly supported it.

Whether the FBI was pressured, duped, or actively political, the bureau has again landed in the center of a partisan fight. Mr. Wray might ask how that keeps happening.