Email: Clapper Refused Trump Request to Say ‘Pee Tape’ Story Is Bogus

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, former acting U.S. Attorney …

By Aaron Klein

The text of emails buried in a footnote in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report reveals that President Trump asked disgraced ex-FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence and Trump critic James Clapper to publicly refute the infamous Steele dossier after the discredited charges were first leaked to the news media.

Clapper refused Trump’s request, the emails reveal.

Trump’s requests to Comey and Clapper were in response to media leaks about the dossier. The first leak was a CNN January 10, 2017 report exposing classified briefings to Trump and Barack Obama about the dossier. Those briefings were presented by Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers.

Following the CNN report, the full dossier document was published hours later by BuzzFeed.

“He [Trump] asked if I could put out a statement. He would prefer of course that I say the documents are bogus, which, of course, I can’t do,” Clapper wrote to Comey in a January 11, 2017 email.

“He called me at 5 yesterday and we had a very similar conversation,” Comey wrote back to Clapper one day later.

It was not clear why Clapper would not at least put out a public statement calling into question the Steele charges related to alleged collusion or discredited claims about a “pee” tape involving Trump, none of which had been verified by the FBI. Indeed, the FBI at that time possessed information calling Steele’s claims and the origins of the dossier into question.

Comey himself previously admitted in testimony that he pushed back against a request from Trump, made during an Oval Office meeting, to possibly investigate the origins of the unsubstantiated claims made in the infamous anti-Trump dossier. Comey recounted: “I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative.”

Yet Comey did not inform Trump at the time that the FBI chief personally cited the dossier as evidence in three successful FISA applications signed by Comey himself to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The first was signed in October 2016; the second and third were renewal applications since a FISA warrant must be renewed every 90 days.

In his classified briefing to Trump on the dossier charges, there is no record indicating that Comey informed the politician that the document, authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, was produced by the controversial Fusion GPS firm.

There is also no evidence that Comey told Trump at any time that Fusion was paid for the dossier work by Trump’s main political opponents, namely Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.

Bruce Ohr, a career Justice Department official, admitted in testimony released in March that he informed the FBI that the anti-Trump dossier was tied to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Ohr testified that he further warned his FBI superiors that the dossier information was likely “biased” against Trump and that he thought Steele was “desperate that Trump not be elected.”

Ohr revealed that he spoke to the FBI about the role of Fusion GPS in producing the dossier, and informed the agency that his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked at the time for Fusion GPS.

Critically, Ohr said that he transmitted all of that information in the time period before the FBI under Comey certified the FISA application to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a former adviser to President Trump’s 2016 campaign. Comey signed the first FISA application in late October 2016.

The emails between Comey and Clapper, meanwhile, came on the heels of the January 10, 2017 news media leaks about the dossier.

On January 10, CNN was first to report the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified documents presented one week earlier to then President Obama and President-elect Trump by Comey, Clapper, Brennan and Rogers. Comey reportedly briefed Trump alone on the most salacious charges in the dossier.

Prior to CNN’s report leaking the Comey briefing to Trump, which was picked up by news agencies worldwide, the contents of the dossier had been circulating among news media outlets, but the sensational claims were largely considered too risky to publish.

All that changed when the dossier contents were presented to Obama and Trump during the classified briefings. In other words, Comey’s briefings themselves and the subsequent leak to CNN about those briefings by “multiple US officials with direct knowledge,” seem to have given the news media the opening to report on the dossier’s existence as well as allude to the document’s unproven claims.

ollowing the CNN report, BuzzFeed published the full Steele dossier.

Deep State Blame Game: Comey, Clapper, Brennan Spar over Who Pushed ‘Pee’ Dossier as Credible Intel

The Comey-Clapper email exchange cited in the Mueller report may take on more relevance now that Comey, Brennan and Clapper are the subjects of a dispute over which top Obama administration officials advocated for the infamous Steele dossier to be utilized as evidence in the Russia collusion investigation.

The argument erupted into the open with a Brennan surrogate being quoted in the news media this week opposing Comey not long after Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia collusion claims.

The fiasco was kicked into high gear after Fox News cited “sources familiar with the records” pointing to an email chain from late-2016 showing Comey allegedly telling FBI employees that it was Brennan who insisted that the anti-Trump dossier be included in a January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report, known as the ICA, assessing Russian interference efforts.

A former CIA official, clearly defending Brennan, shot back at the assertion, instead claiming that it was Brennan and Clapper who opposed a purported push by Comey to include the dossier charges in the ICA.

“Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” the official told Fox News.

“They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA,” the official added. “The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.”

The official was addressing the reported email from Comey fingering Brennan as insisting that the dossier be utilized in the ICA report on Russian interference.

Discussing the issue during a segment on Fox News, former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy said on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that “Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen.”

One day earlier, Gowdey stated on Fox News, “Whoever is looking into this, tell them to look into emails” from December 2016 concerning both Brennan and Comey.

Gowdy told Fox News, where he is now a contributor, that his comments on the matter were based on sensitive documents that he reviewed while he served as chairman of the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.

Contrary to the ex-CIA official’s assertion that the dossier was not included in the intel community’s ICA Russia report, there have been testimony and media statements involving key players saying that it was part of the overall assessment.

Last December, Comey outright contradicted Brennan’s own testimony that the anti-Trump dossier was, as Brennan put it, “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

In testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, Comey stated that material from the Steele dossier was indeed utilized in the IC report. Internally, the FBI referred to the dossier as “crown material.”

“So do you recall whether any quote, crown material or dossier material was included in the IC assessment?” Gowdy asked Comey at the time.

“Yes,” Comey replied. “I’m going to be careful here because I’m talking about a document that’s still classified. The unclassified thing we talked about earlier today, the first paragraph you can see of exhibit A, is reflective of the fact that at least some of the material that Steele had collected was in the big thing called the intelligence community assessment in an annex called annex A.”

Annex A in the report was titled, “Russia—Kremlin’s TV Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US.”

The annex, like the rest of the report, contains the following disclaimer:

This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.

Comey went on to describe a conversation that he said he had with Brennan about how to include the dossier material in the IC assessment:

Gowdy: Do you recall the specific conversation or back and forth with then-Director Brennan on whether or not the material should be included in the IC assessment?

Comey. Yes. I remember conversation — let me think about it for a second. I remember there was conversation about what form its presentation should take in the overarching document; that is, should it be in an annex; should it be in the body; that the intelligence community broadly found its source credible and that it was corroborative of the central thesis of the intelligence community assessment, and the discussion was should we put it in the body or put it in an attachment.

I’m hesitating because I don’t remember whether I had that conversation — I had that conversation with John Brennan, but I remember that there was conversation about how it should be treated.

Comey’s descriptions are at direct odds with a statement Brennan made during May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in which Brennan claimed the dossier was “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” on alleged Russian interference. Brennan repeated that claim during numerous news media interviews.

Comey is not the only former top official involved in the IC report to say that the dossier played a role in the report’s conclusions.

As RealClearPolitics.com documents, former NSA Director Rogers wrote in a classified letter that the dossier played a role in the IC’s assessment and a dossier summary was included in an initial draft appendix:

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier — described as “the Christopher Steele information” — was “added” as an “appendix to the ICA draft,” and that consideration of that appendix was “part of the overall ICA review/approval process.”

Meanwhile Clapper, who served as director of National Intelligence under the Obama administration, conceded during a previous CNN interview that the IC assessment was able to corroborate “some of the substantive content of the dossier,” implying that the dossier itself was a factor.

“I think with respect to the dossier itself, the key thing is it doesn’t matter who paid for it,” Clapper said. “It’s what the dossier said and the extent to which it was — it’s corroborated or not. We had some concerns about it from the standpoint of its sourcing which we couldn’t corroborate.”

“But at the same time, some of the substantive content, not all of it, but some of the substantive content of the dossier, we were able to corroborate in our Intelligence Community assessment which from other sources in which we had very high confidence to it,” he added.

It was Clapper’s agency that released the Intelligence Community report.

The purported inclusion of the dossier may help to explain why Rogers’ NSA assessed the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin favored Trump and worked to get him elected only with a classification of “moderate confidence,” while the FBI and CIA gave it a “high confidence” rating.

The dispute comes as U.S. Attorney John Durham has been charged by Barr with conducting a probe of the origins of the Russia investigation. In addition to ICA report tactics, Durham’s probe is likely to also focus on the use of the dossier in obtaining a FISA warrant to spy on Page.

Deep State Blame Game: Comey, Clapper, Brennan Spar over Who Pushed ‘Pee’ Dossier as Credible Intel Round 1: Comey Made Paper Trail Pointing to Brennan

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By Aaron Klein

Disgraced ex-FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director turned anti-Trump activist John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence and Trump critic James Clapper are the subjects of a dispute over which top Obama administration officials advocated for the infamous Steele dossier to be utilized as evidence in the Russia collusion investigation.

The argument erupted into the open with a Brennan surrogate being quoted in the news media opposing Comey not long after Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia collusion claims.

The fiasco was kicked into high gear after Fox News cited “sources familiar with the records” pointing to an email chain from late-2016 showing Comey allegedly telling FBI employees that it was Brennan who insisted that the anti-Trump dossier be included in a January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report, known as the ICA, assessing Russian interference efforts.

A former CIA official, clearly defending Brennan, shot back at the assertion, instead claiming that it was Brennan and Clapper who opposed a purported push by Comey to include the dossier charges in the ICA.

The dossier was also cited as evidence in three successful FISA applications signed by Comey to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The first was signed in October 2016; the second and third were renewal applications since a FISA warrant must be renewed every 90 days.

The dossier, authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, was produced by the controversial Fusion GPS firm. Fusion was paid for the dossier work by Trump’s main political opponents, namely Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.

“Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” the official told Fox News.

“They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA,” the official added. “The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.”

The official was addressing the reported email from Comey fingering Brennan as insisting that the dossier be utilized in the ICA report on Russian interference.

Discussing the issue during a segment on Fox News, former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy said on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that “Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen.”

One day earlier, Gowdey stated on Fox News, “Whoever is looking into this, tell them to look into emails” from December 2016 concerning both Brennan and Comey.

Gowdy told Fox News, where he is now a contributor, that his comments on the matter were based on sensitive documents that he reviewed while he served as chairman of the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.

Contrary to the ex-CIA official’s assertion that the dossier was not included in the intel community’s ICA Russia report, there have been testimony and media statements involving key players saying that it was part of the overall assessment.

Last December, Comey outright contradicted Brennan’s own testimony that the anti-Trump dossier was, as Brennan put it, “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

In testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, Comey stated that material from the Steele dossier was indeed utilized in the IC report. Internally, the FBI referred to the dossier as “crown material.”

“So do you recall whether any quote, crown material or dossier material was included in the IC assessment?” Gowdy asked Comey at the time.

“Yes,” Comey replied. “I’m going to be careful here because I’m talking about a document that’s still classified. The unclassified thing we talked about earlier today, the first paragraph you can see of exhibit A, is reflective of the fact that at least some of the material that Steele had collected was in the big thing called the intelligence community assessment in an annex called annex A.”

Annex A in the report was titled, “Russia—Kremlin’s TV Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US.”

The annex, like the rest of the report, contains the following disclaimer:

This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.

Comey went on to describe a conversation that he said he had with Brennan about how to include the dossier material in the IC assessment:

Gowdy: Do you recall the specific conversation or back and forth with then-Director Brennan on whether or not the material should be included in the IC assessment?

Comey. Yes. I remember conversation — let me think about it for a second. I remember there was conversation about what form its presentation should take in the overarching document; that is, should it be in an annex; should it be in the body; that the intelligence community broadly found its source credible and that it was corroborative of the central thesis of the intelligence community assessment, and the discussion was should we put it in the body or put it in an attachment.

I’m hesitating because I don’t remember whether I had that conversation — I had that conversation with John Brennan, but I remember that there was conversation about how it should be treated.

Comey’s descriptions are at direct odds with a statement Brennan made during May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in which Brennan claimed the dossier was “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” on alleged Russian interference. Brennan repeated that claim during numerous news media interviews.

Comey is not the only former top official involved in the IC report to say that the dossier played a role in the report’s conclusions.

 

As RealClearPolitics.com documents, former NSA Director Rogers wrote in a classified letter that the dossier played a role in the IC’s assessment and a dossier summary was included in an initial draft appendix:

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier — described as “the Christopher Steele information” — was “added” as an “appendix to the ICA draft,” and that consideration of that appendix was “part of the overall ICA review/approval process.”

Meanwhile Clapper, who served as director of National Intelligence under the Obama administration, conceded during a previous CNN interview that the IC assessment was able to corroborate “some of the substantive content of the dossier,” implying that the dossier itself was a factor.

“I think with respect to the dossier itself, the key thing is it doesn’t matter who paid for it,” Clapper said. “It’s what the dossier said and the extent to which it was — it’s corroborated or not. We had some concerns about it from the standpoint of its sourcing which we couldn’t corroborate.”

“But at the same time, some of the substantive content, not all of it, but some of the substantive content of the dossier, we were able to corroborate in our Intelligence Community assessment which from other sources in which we had very high confidence to it,” he added.

It was Clapper’s agency that released the Intelligence Community report.

The purported inclusion of the dossier may help to explain why Rogers’ NSA assessed the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin favored Trump and worked to get him elected only with a classification of “moderate confidence,” while the FBI and CIA gave it a “high confidence” rating.

The dispute comes as U.S. Attorney John Durham has been charged by Barr with conducting a probe of the origins of the Russia investigation. In addition to ICA report tactics, Durham’s probe is likely to also focus on the use of the dossier in obtaining a FISA warrant to spy on Page.

John Brennan Fueled the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory

Regardless of his role in the ICA assessment and the dossier, Brennan was still a central player in fueling the anti-Trump dossier that spread unsubstantiated, conspiratorial claims of collusion with Russia.

As Breitbart News previously documented, Brennan helped lead official classified briefings to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump on the discredited dossier even though the questionable document was funded by Trump’s primary political opponents.

Those two classified briefings were subsequently leaked to the news media and set in motion an avalanche of anti-Trump news media coverage on the dossier’s wild allegations.

Brennan’s CIA also co-authored the questionable ICA report saying Russia’s intentions for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election included the goal of ensuring Trump was victorious over Hillary Clinton. An extensive House report later accused the CIA and the two other agencies that co-authored that report of politicizing intelligence and other analytical failures.

And, as Breitbart News documented, Brennan reportedly convened a highly compartmentalized unit of CIA, FBI and NSA analysts to conduct operations related to what eventually became the allegations of Russian interference and controversial claims that Putin worked to elect Trump. The secretive unit was reportedly housed in the CIA’s headquarters.

Russia Hoax 4Eva: No Senate Intel Republicans Publicly Stand Up for Burr’s Don Jr. Subpoena

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By Matthew Boyle

Not one GOP senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee was willing to publicly align himself or herself on Wednesday evening with the panel’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), after Burr made the determination, against indications from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to issue a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr. to testify again on the Russia probe.

News broke late Wednesday afternoon that Burr had issued Trump, Jr. a subpoena to try to compel the president’s eldest son to testify again. The subpoena is in contravention of a previous promise Burr made to Trump, Jr. that he would only need to testify once and would not be subpoenaed, and it contradicts McConnell’s edict on Tuesday that the Russia hoax is “case closed” after two years of investigating with no evidence of collusion or obstruction.

Condemnation rained down upon Burr quickly and swiftly from across the Republican Party, as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy both ripped him for the subpoena, as did Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who served as chair for the first two years of Trump’s presidency, as well as many others in the Trump universe.

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Former Trump adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the host of a nationally syndicated radio program now, had this to say about Burr:

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Others in the Trump universe blasted away at Burr via Twitter and other avenues on Wednesday evening, catching the GOP senator completely flat-footed:

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The brutal condemnations from Trump-world aside, the stunning intra-GOP rebukes of Burr have caught Senate Republicans completely off guard. In fact, on Wednesday evening after the news broke that Burr had issued the Trump, Jr., subpoena, not one Senate Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee would publicly defend Burr from calls for his resignation.

Breitbart News reached out to every single Republican member of the committee to ask them if they think Burr should chairman the panel or be removed by McConnell for his rogue subpoena of Trump, Jr., as many in the Trump universe are pushing for now, and not one would publicly side with Burr.

Staff in many of these Senate GOP offices asked to speak anonymously about their bosses’ displeasure with Burr’s actions. But not a single one would go on the record to defend Burr. Several also said their bosses had sought out McConnell to intervene and stop Burr immediately.

These Senate offices include Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), who is up for re-election in Texas in 2020; Tom Cotton (R-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jim Risch (R-ID).

Not one of those senators would publicly stand by Burr on Wednesday evening, when asked where they stand both on the subpoena and on whether Burr should remain chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Not only has the entire Senate Intelligence Committee GOP membership basically abandoned defending Burr publicly, it appears no Republicans anywhere have his back on this.

What’s more, while Burr himself and his committee have not replied to requests for comment from Breitbart News about his decision to go rogue on McConnell’s claim the investigation is “case closed” by issuing the subpoena to the president’s son, sources familiar with the matter tell Breitbart News that the senator and his staff have been completely shell-shocked by the reaction to the news of their move to issue the subpoena. They had been expecting friendly press coverage, and few Trump flunkies to criticize them, but not the fierce opposition of the Trump universe swiftly raining down upon them like what’s happened on Wednesday evening.

In fact, one Burr staffer has taken to calling people, asking if they know a certain Trump White House ally who is particularly vocal on Twitter, perturbed at the level of backlash against Burr–and the complete lack of any defense for the now quickly embattled GOP chairman.

But Burr’s office has not replied to requests for comment. What’s more, McConnell’s office has also not replied to requests for comment. And while these other senators have not weighed in publicly, Trump and his allies clearly expect swift action from each of them against Burr–in public, with public statements condemning the North Carolina senator–or there will be swift consequences against each of them as well.

“It’s outrageous that Senator Burr appears to be taking his marching orders from liberal Democrats intent on trying to take down the President and his family to harass a private citizen who has already spent nine hours testifying in front of the Senate Intel Committee,” a source close to Trump, Jr., told Breitbart News for the first story on this matter. “When Don agreed to testify to the Senate Intel Committee in 2017, there was an agreement between Don and the Committee that it would be a ‘one and done testimony’ and in return Don agreed to answer any questions for as long a time as they’d like. Don fulfilled his end of the agreement; clearly Senator Burr is not fulfilling his side of it. It’s bad enough that he has to deal with constant harassment from Democrats in the House, but it’s shocking to see Senate Republicans join them in this harassment campaign. Unfortunately for them, Don Jr. has a long memory and come the 2020 campaign season, when Senate Republicans are begging him to raise money and campaign for them, he will remember where every Senate Republican stood on this.”

Trump, Jr., and presumably his father, are already taking notice of the silence from certain Senate Republicans, as some have been calling out specific GOP senators already:

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This could be the beginning of a much bigger battle inside the GOP, one former Trump White House adviser told Breitbart News.

“By doing this, Senator Burr just started a civil war in the Republican Party with someone who has undoubtedly become one of the biggest superstars in the eyes of the base,” a former high-ranking Trump White House official told Breitbart News. “If I were a Republican Senator up for reelection 2020, I would be furious with Senator Burr because he assuredly just made their reelection campaigns that much more difficult.”

President Trump Bashes ‘Illegal Takedown That Failed,’ Hints That Republicans Will Investigate The Hoaxers

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President Donald Trump was magnanimous in victory as the Robert Mueller investigation formally cleared him of Russia collusion and obstruction of justice, according to attorney general William Barr. Trump hinted that investigators will now look into “the other side,” as Rep. Devin Nunes prepares to probe the Democrats who cooked up the media hoax in an effort to divert attention from their Uranium One dealings with the Russian government.

Trump told reporters that the idea of Russia collusion is “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” while White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump and his supporters are “vindicated” and Rudy Giuliani trolled Adam Schiff with a call for an apology.

“It’s a shame that the country had to go through this,” President Trump said.

The Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya who set up Don Trump Jr. for a meeting in Trump Tower as part of a Fusion GPS plot was operating out of the Washington offices of Cozen O’Connor, a law firm run by an anti-Trump former Obama administration official whose super PAC donated to Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush in the 2016 presidential election.

Veselnitskaya’s work from the Cozen O’Connor office provides more evidence of a Democrat and establishment Republican effort to set up the Trump campaign for a future Russian collusion case. Veselnitskaya was allowed into the United States by the Obama Department of Justice while the former Obama official who runs Cozen O’Connor publicly warned then-candidate Trump that if he became president he would be investigated by the DOJ for contacts with foreign leaders. Veselnitskaya reportedly had dinner meetings with Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson the day before she met in Trump Tower and also the day after she went inside Trump Tower.

Big League Politics has confirmed that a Cozen O’Connor partner who lives in the same apartment building as James Comey’s friend Daniel Richman — who leaked classified information to the press on Comey’s behalf — spoke with Richman during the period that Comey and the Fusion GPS team were trying to obtain FISA warrants on Trump Tower.

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Let’s break down the facts of an Obama administration official’s involvement in the Trump Tower plot:

Russian and U.S. citizen Rinat Akhmetshin, a Soviet military veteran, was present at Veselnitskaya’s meeting with Don Jr. in Trump Tower after leading a lobbying push supposedly to repeal the Magnitsky Act. Akhmestshin is believed by insiders to be linked to Russian government intelligence, a fact that the Washington Post seized on when reporting that he met with Don Jr. and Jared Kushner in Trump Tower. A nonprofit group focused on promoting Akhmetshin and Veselnitskaya’s cause to lawmakers actually hired Cozen O’Connor, which the law firm confirms.

The Washington Post reported (emphasis added):

“In the spring of 2016, as the presidential race was heating up, Akhmetshin and lobbyists he hired sought meetings on Capitol Hill to make their case against the sanctions law. Akhmetshin hired former Democratic congressman Ron Dellums, along with a team of lobbyists from the law firm of Cozen O’Connor.
Steve Pruitt, a business colleague speaking on Dellums’s behalf, said his involvement was brief and ended when he determined that Congress was unlikely to change the law.

In June, after visiting Trump Tower in New York, Veselnitskaya came to Washington to lend a hand in the lobbying effort.

She attended a meeting of the team at the downtown offices of Cozen O’Connor, where she spoke at length in Russian about the issues but confused many in the room, who had not been told previously about her involvement, according to several participants.”

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Cozen O’Connor managing partner Howard Schweitzer is listed here on a DOJ form from an investigation into the breaking of lobbying laws by Russians trying to repeal the Magnitsky Act — which was just a front to get Russians in the room with Don Jr. We know now that Natalia Veselnitskaya was actually operating out of the Cozen O’Connor offices.

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Schweitzer worked as general counsel for the Export-Import Bank under George W. Bush and was chief operating officer of the TARP bailout program under both Bush and Obama from 2008-2009.

“In October 2008, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson appointed Howard as the first COO of TARP. In this position, Howard led program execution and built the TARP infrastructure. He served as a key point person regarding the financial crisis through the presidential transition and continued to serve as TARP COO under Secretary Timothy Geithner until August 2009,” reads Schweitzer’s Cozen O’Connor bio.

“He served as chief operating officer of the TARP in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations,” reads Schweitzer’s bio for a Politico piece he wrote in August 2016 headlined “7 Reasons Why Trump Would Hate Being President.”

Schweitzer’s virulently anti-Trump piece for Politico tries to make the case that Trump was “sabotaging his own bid for the White House.” Schweitzer said that if Trump became president then “He’ll be investigated to death” by Congress and the Justice Department for his business dealings and “relationships with foreign leaders.”

The narrative was being set.

The Philadelphia-based Cozen O’Connor law firm also has a political action committee that donated to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, in addition to Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Martin O’Malley. In the 2018 election cycle, the Cozen O’Connor PAC donated more money to Hillary Clinton’s dormant campaign.

Here is Veselnitskaya seated behind Obama ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul at a June 2016 congressional hearing focused on Russia.

Cozen O’Connor’s connections to the anti-Trump “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” plot are wide-ranging, and show up in unexpected places.

James Comey’s friend, Columbia University professor Daniel Richman, leaked classified information that Comey gave him. During this leaking period, Richman was apartment-building neighbors with a partner at the Cozen O’Connor law firm that strategized with Fusion GPS operative Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian plant who set up Don Jr. in Trump Tower.

Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS, led by Glenn Simpson, were part of John Brennan and Peter Strzok’s CIA-led “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” plot aimed at President Donald Trump and the Trump campaign.

“Yes, he is my neighbor,” Amy Wenzel, a partner at Cozen O’Connor, confirmed in a phone conversation with Big League Politics, confirming that they spoke. They live near each other in a Brooklyn high-rise.

The Washington Post’s release of Trump Tower documents shows the crowd surrounding non-sexual honeypot Natalia Veselnitskaya. The crowd of conspirators knew they were damaging Trump by setting up the meeting.

The Post confirms British-citizen music promoter Rob Goldstone’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he described the conspirators’ push to get the meeting despite the fact that they knew it would create trouble for the Trump campaign.

The Post reports:

“Rob Goldstone told the committee that his client, the Russian pop star and developer Emin Agalarov, had insisted he help set up the meeting between President Trump’s son and the lawyer during the campaign to pass along material on Clinton, overriding Goldstone’s own warnings that the meeting would be a bad idea.

“He said, ‘it doesn’t matter. You just have to get the meeting,’ ” Goldstone, a British citizen, testified.

The intensity with which Agalarov and his father, the billionaire Aras Agalarov, sought the Trump Tower meeting, which has become a key point of scrutiny for congressional inquiries and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, was revealed in more than 2,500 pages of congressional testimony and exhibits released by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning.”

Washington Post passage ends

Natalia Veselnitskaya is also inextricably linked to the case against Paul Manafort.

The Russian attorney partner of Paul Manafort who was named as a defendant in new Robert Mueller charges is also linked to the Russian spy Natalia Vesenilskaya, who attended a meeting with Don Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner in Trump Tower.

According to Mueller’s new charges, Manafort’s Russian partner Konstantin Kilimnik tried to intimidate or coerce witnesses in Manafort’s upcoming money laundering trial. That puts Konstantin Kilimnik at the center of the Mueller effort to find obstruction of justice in Trump-World (Mueller is giving himself until September 1 to try to find obstruction of justice, after finding no Russian collusion involving Trump).
So who is Konstantine Kilimnik? It turns out that Kilimnik is linked to Veselnitskaya, the Fusion GPS agent, according to Senate documents.

Here is how ProPublica described Kilimnik: “Konstantin Kilimnik: Manafort, who worked for the pro-Russian party in Ukraine before running Trump’s campaign, had an employee in Kiev named Konstantin Kilimnik who U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence, according to Politico. Kilimnik served in the Russian army and learned English at a school that experts say often trains spies. Kilimnik denied being a spy to The Washington Post. Manafort had dinner with Kilimnik last August in New York, just before he was forced out of the Trump campaign amid growing questions about his work in the Ukraine, the Post reported.”

Documents reveal Kilimnik’s ties to Veselniskaya. Let’s take a look at United States Senate Judiciary Committee documents questioning Veselniskaya in October. Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Veselniskaya if she knew a handful of characters believed to be conspirators in the case.

Grassley and Feinstein specifically asked Veselnitskaya if she knew Konstantin Kilimnik.

Here is page 4 of the documents, naming Kilimnik:

Current Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee as senator from Alabama.

Veselnitskaya’s meeting with Don Jr. in Trump Tower provided some of the basis for warrants to surveil Trump Tower and for other FBI surveillance measures on the Trump campaign.

The fact that Veselnitskaya, a lawyer herself, was in the meeting with Trump Jr. and Kushner opened the president’s son and son-in-law up to being qualified as “target associations” for law enforcement under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, passed during the Bush administration.

Veselniskaya’s link to suspected conspirator Kilimnik is now coming under scrutiny.

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