Opinion| (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced [yesterday] it received 215 pages of records from the U.S. Department of Justice revealing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall. Baker then forwarded the conversation to his FBI colleagues.
The documents also further describe a previously reported quid pro quo from the Obama State Department offering the FBI more legal attaché positions if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation “from classified to something else.”
Though the issues have become hazy for most observers, it had been fairly well-established at the time that the FBI and DOJ did not pursue the Clinton email scandal with any particular vigor.
In other words, it appeared that the FBI had made the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton before starting the investigation into her use of a private server.
That would be consistent with the bureau’s actions after the SDNY (Southern District of New York) discovered the contents of the Weiner laptop and alerted the Washington office.
SDNY first alerted Deputy Director Andrew McCabe at the FBI office in Washington DC on September 28th, 2016 after finding many hundreds of thousands of emails on Weiner’s laptop. A laptop that Weiner shared with his wife, Clinton confidant and senior advisor, Huma Abedin.
For a deeper dive into the emails that flew back and forth as the FBI struggled with how to hide their defensive actions of corrupt presidential candidate Hillary Clinton I refer you to the Conservative Treehouse.
At the time, Weiner was under investigation for sexting with a minor. This makes Clinton’s sins even more egregious than previously imagined. Think about the potential ramifications of blackmailing Weiner who was facing a substantial jail sentence at the time.
It wasn’t until DOJ officials within the SDNY called Main Justice (DOJ in DC) and asked about a needed search warrant a month later that the review was finally began.
The FBI’s Washington office sat on their hands, and only took action to review the emails a month later on October 28th.
As soon as the news officially broke that the FBI’s Washington bureau would be reopening the HRC email investigation, Hillary Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall immediately reached out to FBI General Counsel James Baker.
On October 28, 2016, the day that [then-FBI director] Comey sent a letter to Congress regarding the FBI’s discovery that the Weiner laptop contained Clinton’s emails.
Notice the date. Comey kept this discovery hidden from Congress for 30 days. That left barely a week to do a forensic analysis of the laptop prior to the election. It appears the FBI purposely frittered away that time, as well:
The laptop wasn’t submitted to it’s Quantico cyber forensics lab until after the election had passed.
Once again it appears the FBI had decided the outcome of another HRC investigation before it began.
Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, within hours, emails Baker requesting a call “ASAP” about the Comey letter. Baker describes his follow-up call to senior FBI officials:
I received the email below from David Kendall and I called him back. Before doing so I alerted DOJ via email that I would do that.
He said that our letter was “tantalizingly ambiguous” and made statements that were “inchoate and highly ominous” such that what we had done was worse than transparency because it allows people to make whatever they want out to make out of the letter to the prejudice of Secretary Clinton.
I told him that I could not respond to his requests at this time but that I would discuss it with others and get back to him.
I suggest that we have some kind of follow up meeting or phone call with this group either this evening or over the weekend to address this and probably other issues/questions that come up in the next 24 hours. Sound reasonable?
Baker’s heads up on the Kendall call was sent to:
- Then-Director James Comey; since fired;
- Then-Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich, who later replaced Andrew McCabe as deputy director;
- Michael Steinbach, the F.B.I.’s former executive assistant director for national security;
- Then-Assistant Director of Counterintelligence E.W. Priestap, now retired;
- James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey;
- FBI intelligence analyst Jonathan Moffa;
- Former Acting Assistant Director Jason V. Herring;
- Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired;
- Former principal deputy general counsel Trisha Anderson;
- Strzok and Page
That’s just about everyone inside the FBI’s highest executive office who had responsibility to protect Americans from anything like this ever happening. Not an honest man – or woman – to be found!
Then JW drops this bombshell:
On October 13, 2016, former FBI attorney Lisa Page sent an email, which apparently references a related Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit and further discusses a previously reported quid pro quo offer from the State Department:
Jason Herring will be providing you with three 302s of current and former FBI employees who were interviewed during the course of the Clinton investigation. These 302s are scheduled to be released to Congress in an unredacted form at the end of the week, and produced (with redactions) pursuant to FOIA at the beginning of next week. As you will see, they describe a discussion about potential quid pro quo arrangement between then-DAD in IOD [deputy assistant director in International Operations Division] and an Undersecretary at the State Department whereby IOD would get more LEGAT [legal attaché] positions if the FBI could change the basis of the FOIA withhold re a Clinton email from classified to something else. [Emphasis added]
WHOA! Payoffs in the form of quid pro quos?
How many classified emails had been found? At this point (October 13th) it appears no one had even opened the laptop to examine it. Unless, SDNY, or the NYPD had previously garnered that information. Or, perhaps they did and decided it would be better for Madame Hillary if the contents never saw the light of day.
To make such an overt quid pro quo would mean that Clinton’s minions knew, or had evidence to believe, that there were classified emails on the laptop with a high probability of being discovered.
On January 4, 2018, Judicial Watch reported, there were at least 18 classified emails found on the Weiner laptop by the FBI. Paul Sperry’s Real Clear Investigations report revealed that only 3,077 of the 340,000 emails “were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information.”
JW has aggressively fought to force the release of these documents. They have succeeded in convincing a judge to move forward with discovery, at least temporarily:
Last month, United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials — including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, and FBI official E.W. Priestap — will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath.
The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan.
(The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)
This appears to give Judicial Watch a solid entry into investigating the corruption that existed within the Obama administration, right up to the Obama White House.
With some House and Senate committee members having stated publicly that they have found no evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia, and with the Mueller probe wrapping up after coming up empty on that charge, it appears that President Trump can now turn his attention to starting to drain the swamp – especially the one at the Main Justice and at the FBI.