Judicial Watch: Emails Show FBI Advised Comey to Consult with Mueller’s Office Prior to June 2017 Testimony


Judicial Watch today released new emails from the Department of Justice (DOJ) showing that former FBI Director James Comey was advised by FBI officials in May 2017 to consult with Special Counsel Robert Mueller prior to testifying before any congressional committees regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and his firing as FBI director.

According to numerous news reports, Comey met directly with Mueller previous to his June 8, 2017, testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sources said that Comey’s opening statement and subsequent testimony were coordinated with Mueller.

At the hearing, Comey revealed that he had intentionally leaked material from a memo allegedly documenting a meeting with President Trump in order to help assure the appointment of a special counsel.

I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself, for a variety of reasons. But I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.

The DOJ and FBI have stated that Comey’s leaks were unauthorized and compared the disclosures to Wikileaks.

The documents obtained by Judicial Watch are the first to reveal that high-ranking FBI officials helped Comey coordinate his testimony with Mueller.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the DOJ on January 31, 2018 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00220)). The lawsuit was filed after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 14, 2017 FOIA request seeking:

  • All records of communications between the FBI and Comey prior to and regarding Comey’s testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, 2017.
  • All records of communications between the FBI and Comey relating to an upcoming book to be authored by Comey and published.
  • All records, including but not limited to forms completed by Comey, relating to the requirement for prepublication review by the FBI of any book to be authored by Comey with the intent to be published or otherwise publicly available.

On May 17, 2017, Comey received notices to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee.

An email chain dated May 18 and 19, 2017, with the subject line “Future testimony” shows then-FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki, then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Assistant Director Gregory Brower, Comey and others discussing Comey’s upcoming testimony:

In this chain, on May 18 at 6:30 pm, Comey wrote to Rybicki to confirm that he had accepted the invitation to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) but declined the invitations from the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee.

Comey also writes: “Last, would you please tell OGC [Office of the General Counsel] that I would like to be able to review any documents authored by me or on which I am copied that will be produced to SSCI in connection with my testimony and would like the opportunity for that review before I testify?”

An email from a redacted sender, apparently Comey, to Rybicki dated May 19 at 11:49 am reads:

Jim

I just got off a call with Senators Burr and Warner. They would like to have a hearing next Wednesday at which I testify, first in open session and then in closed, if necessary. I asked them not to announce it until I check with FBI/DOJ to see if you want to discuss anything before they do that. I told them I had asked for guidance on any institutional prerogatives and for the opportunity to review any documents FBI has produced that relate to me. I told them I would communicate with them by the end of the day to either ask them to hold announcing the Wednesday hearing or go ahead.

Many thanks.

Jim

On May 19 at 2:10 pm, Rybicki writes back:

Director: We just met to discuss the requests outlined in the two emails below. Before responding the General Counsel has asked me to confirm that you have discussed with the attorneys representing you, and that you are comfortable discussing these issues with us rather than communicating through your counsel.

On May 19 at 3:02 pm, a redacted sender, likely Comey, responds to Rybicki: “Yes and yes.”

Also in this chain, on May 19 at 4:11 pm, Rybicki writes to McCabe, FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich, former FBI General Counsel James A. Baker, Brower, Elizabeth Beers and other redacted names:

Please see a DRAFT response to Director Comey (below). I will hold pending further direction….

Director:

In response to your emails below we have consulted with executive management here, including the General Counsel, and recommend the following:

  1. That your counsel convey any acceptance or declinations to invitations to testify directly to the Committees.
  2. That your counsel consult with Special Counsel Mueller to determine the timing of any such testimony and,
  3. The Office of General Counsel stands ready to discuss with you in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel, institutional privileges or prerogatives that may be presented by any such testimony.

“These documents show that James Comey, who was fired by the president, nevertheless had easy, friendly access to the FBI as he prepped his infamous anti-Trump testimony to the Senate,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This collusion led to Comey’s attacking President Trump and misusing FBI records as part of a vendetta against the president.”

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Video: Mark Levin, Dan Bongino, and Joseph diGenova dissect the Mueller Russia investigation.


LevinTV host Mark Levin interviewed former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino and former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova on his weekly Fox News program, “Life, Liberty & Levin.”

“We’re here on very serious business,” Levin began. He asked his guests about two Department of Justice memoranda, one from the Nixon administration and one from the Clinton administration, that conclude that a president of the United States cannot be indicted by a special counsel.

“I don’t think there’s any question that the Mueller investigation as it sits now is illegitimate,” diGenova said. He explained that the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not name a crime for Mueller to investigate, raising serious problems. “It named nothing. This was a way for the department under Rosenstein to avoid responsibility for conducting an inquiry,” he said.

With no crime being investigated, diGenova said that having President Trump sit down with Mueller to answer his questions would be a waste of time for both Trump and the country. “I think the president should fight to the very end any subpoena issued by the special counsel,” he concluded.

Levin asked Bongino if he thought the Mueller probe is putting together a case for impeachment against Trump. Bongino thinks it is, but he went further, running through the prosecutors Mueller has hired and their anti-Trump, pro-Clinton biases.

“I think the entire Mueller operation, Mark, is a smokescreen to keep the attention on Donald J. Trump and to keep the attention away from the crimes committed with the Clinton operation and … the Obamagate spying scandal as well,” Bongino said.

 

 
 
 
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Devin Nunes Wants To Hold Jeff Sessions In Contempt of Congress


By Daniel Chaitin
TheWashingtonExaminer.com

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes announced Sunday he's going to push Congress this week to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress.

This extreme step is a culmination of the frustration the California Republican explained he's felt in dealing with a Justice Department that had stymied his requests for information, during the panel's government surveillance investigation. In particular the committee has been looking into allegations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance abuses by the Justice Department and FBI that led to spying on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Two weeks ago, Nunes sent a classified letter to Sessions, which he said was not acknowledged. That was followed by a subpoena last week.

"Then on Thursday we discovered that they are not going to comply with our subpoena," Nunes said on "Fox and Friends Sunday."

A Justice Department official shared the letter sent to Nunes on Thursday with the Washington Examiner, which explained that the decision was made after consulting the White House.

"After careful evaluation and following consultations with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the White House, the Department has determined that, consistent with applicable law and longstanding Executive Branch policy, it is not in a position to provide information responsive to your request regarding a specific individual," Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in the letter.

"Disclosure of responsive information to such requests can risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interfere with intelligence activities," Boyd added.

The letter also stated that the DOJ was willing to discuss other ways to accommodate the House Intelligence Committee's oversight inquiry.

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Federal Judge Accuses Mueller's Team of 'Lying,' Trying To Target Trump: 'C'mon Man!'


 

 

By Jake Gibson
Fox News

A federal judge on Friday harshly rebuked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during a hearing for ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort – suggesting they lied about the scope of the investigation, are seeking “unfettered power” and are more interested in bringing down the president.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told Mueller’s team. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever."

Further, Ellis demanded to see the unredacted “scope memo,” a document outlining the scope of the special counsel’s Russia probe that congressional Republicans have also sought.

The hearing, where Manafort’s team fought to dismiss an 18-count indictment on tax and bank fraud-related charges, took a confrontational turn as it was revealed that at least some of the information in the investigation derived from an earlier Justice Department probe – in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Manafort’s attorneys argue the special counsel does not have the power to indict him on the charges they have brought – and seemed to find a sympathetic ear with Ellis.

The Reagan-appointed judge asked Mueller’s team where they got the authority to indict Manafort on alleged crimes dating as far back as 2005.

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MONUMENTAL: The Naked Truth About Robert Mueller


By Rep. Louis Gohmert

Robert Mueller has a long and sordid history of illicitly targeting innocent people. His many actions are a stain upon the legacy of American jurisprudence. He lacks the judgment and credibility to lead the prosecution of anyone.

I do not make these statements lightly. Each time I prepared to question Mueller during Congressional hearings, the more concerned I became about his ethics and behavior. As I went back to begin compiling all of that information in order to recount personal interactions with Mueller, the more clearly the big picture began to come into focus.

At one point I had to make the decision to stop adding to this compilation or it would turn into a far too lengthy project. My goal was to share some firsthand experiences with Mueller -- as other Republican Members of Congress had requested -- adding, “You seem to know so much about him.”

This article is prepared from my viewpoint to help better inform the reader about the Special Prosecutor leading the effort to railroad President Donald J. Trump through whatever manufactured charge he can allege.

Judging by Mueller's history, it doesn't matter who he has to threaten, harass, prosecute or bankrupt to get to allege something or, for that matter, anything. It certainly appears Mueller will do whatever it takes to bring down his target -- ethically or unethically -- based on my findings.

What does former Attorney General Eric Holder say? Sounds like much the same thing I just said. Holder has stated, "I've known Bob Mueller for 20, 30 years; my guess is he’s just trying to make the case as good as he possibly can."

Holder does know him. He has seen Mueller at work when Holder was obstructing justice and was therefore held in Contempt of Congress. He knows Mueller’s FBI framed innocent people and had no remorse in doing so.

Let’s look at what we know. What I have accumulated here is absolutely shocking upon the realization that Mueller's disreputable, twisted history speaks to the character of the man placed in a position to attempt to legalize a coup against a lawfully-elected President. Any Republican who says anything resembling, “Bob Mueller will do a good job as Special Counsel,” “Bob Mueller has a great reputation for being fair,” or anything similar; either (a) wants President Trump indicted for something and removed from office regardless of his innocence; (b) is intentionally ignorant of the myriad of outrageous problems permeating Mueller’s professional history; or (c) is cultivating future Democrat votes when he or she comes before the Senate someday for a confirmation hearing.

There is simply too much clear and convincing evicdence to the contrary. Where other writers have set out information succinctly, I have quoted them, with proper attribution. My goal is to help you understand what I have found.

Robert Mueller - Background

In his early years as FBI Director, most Republican members of Congress gave Mueller a pass in oversight hearings, allowing him to avoid tough questions. After all, we were continually told, “Bush appointed him.” I gave him easy questions the first time I questioned him in 2005 out of deference to his Vietnam service. Yet, the longer I was in Congress, the more conspicuous the problems became. As I have said before of another Vietnam veteran, just because someone deserves our respect for service or our sympathy for things that happened to them in the military, that does not give them the right to harm our country later. As glaring problems came to light, I toughened up my questions in the oversight hearings. But first, let's cover a little of Mueller's history.

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Questions for Special Counsel Mueller

Turning the tables on President Trump’s interrogator-in-chief.


By Lloyd Billingsley
FrontPageMag.com

Special Counsel and former FBI boss Robert Mueller is on record that President Trump is not a target of his investigation, yet the questions he wants to ask the president have now been leaked to the media. Since the questions are fully predictable and totally without significance, President Trump should not waste his time. On the other hand, the president, and all Americans, might pony up a few questions for Herr Mueller his own self. 

Investigations normally pursue a crime. What crime, exactly, are you investigating? Given the time and money you have put in, the people have a right to know.

Special Counsel Mueller, if you operate in search of collusion, what statute, exactly, would you use to prosecute collusion? Please supply the numbers in the U.S. code.

Special Counsel Mueller, you have been called a man of great integrity. Why did you front-load your investigative team with highly partisan supporters of Hillary Clinton? Were independent, non-partisan lawyers not available? 

If your target is Russian influence in general, Special Counsel Mueller, why are you not investigating the Clinton Foundation and its dealings with Russia? Have you consulted the book Clinton Cash? 

Special Counsel Mueller, what is your understanding of Fanny Ohr? She is the Russia expert, wife of demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who worked for Fusion GPS on the Steele dossier. In your expert opinion, why might Fanny Ohr have acquired a short-wave radio license about that time? Was it to communicate with Russian contacts and avoid detection? Did the FBI monitor any of Ohr’s communications?

As you know, Peter Strzok was formerly FBI counterintelligence boss, a very important position. Why was agent Strzok unable to detect the work of the Democrats’ IT man Imran Awan, who had no security clearance but gained repeated unauthorized access to computers of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees? Was that because agent Strzok was busy exonerating presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her destruction of evidence, including more than 30,000 emails.

Agent Strzok changed “gross negligence,” which was a crime, to “extremely careless,” which was not, and FBI boss James Comey repeated that change. What is your take on that? Did you ever exonerate a suspect before you even talked to them? 

In your view, former FBI Director Mueller, what was all that business with Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton out on the tarmac? Was it just to exchange pleasantries? Given the time and money you have put in, the public has a right to know. 

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Video: 'An Unaccountable Bureaucrat': DiGenova Slams Rosenstein for Slow-Walking Russia Docs

'He created the original sin: an investigation of no crime.'


Former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has "disqualified" himself from continued service with the Department of Justice.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have drafted articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, calling it a “last resort” if the Justice Department continues “slow-walking” its response to document requests related to the Russia investigation.

Speaking at an event in Washington on Tuesday, Rosenstein accused caucus members of not being able to “resist leaking their own draft,” adding that DOJ “will not be extorted.”

On "Tucker Carlson Tonight," diGenova said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should berate Rosenstein for comparing Congress' constitutional right of oversight to extortion.

"That statement by a constitutional officer like Rod Rosenstein is disgraceful, it's an embarrassment to the department," diGenova said. "But it is of a pattern of what Mr. Rosenstein has done there since he arrived."

He pointed out that Rosenstein was the one who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the one who's overseeing the Russia investigation, which Trump has long labeled a "witch hunt."

"He is resisting all of this because he created the original sin: an investigation of no crime," diGenova said, slamming Rosenstein as an "unaccountable bureaucrat."

 

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FBI: Comey Colluded with Mueller Hours After He Was Fired as FBI Director; Mueller Appointed Special Counsel Days Later


 

By TruePundit.com Investigative Bureau

Former FBI boss James Comey talked with mentor and close friend Robert Mueller within hours after he was fired by President Trump, according to Bureau insiders with direct knowledge of the correspondences.

The first conversation between Mueller and his FBI protégé reportedly took place while Comey was traveling home from Los Angeles on a chartered Gulfstream Aerospace commissioned by the Justice Department, according to high-level FBI sources.

Incredibly, one week later, Mueller was appointed Special Counsel to take over Comey’s FBI Russia Trump investigation.

Neither Comey nor Mueller have publicly disclosed corresponding with each other between the eight days Comey was fired and Mueller was hired to run the Trump Russia investigation as Special Counsel.

Comey traveled on the FBI charter flight with a security detail which included five male FBI agents, sources said, in addition to a civilian flight crew. No one else was on the private flight which was chartered from a private corporation. The Justice Department did not own the twin-engine jet, sources said.

Comey was fired on May 9, 2017 while he was visiting the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

One week later on May 16, the first story of Comey’s secret memos about Trump surfaced in the New York Times, alleging the memos could prove President asked Comey to rig the Michael Flynn investigation. Those claims were recently debunked after Comey’s memos were made public this month.

Mere hours after the New York Times article, Mueller was appointed U.S. Special Counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 17, 2017.

At that time, Rosenstein said the special counsel was needed to ensure the “American people to have full confidence in the outcome” of the Russia investigation.

“The public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command,” Rosenstein wrote.

There was no mention that “independent” investigator may have spent hours working with Comey and his legal associates to ensure his appointment to the position. Likewise, Rosenstein did not notify Attorney General Jeff Sessions or the White House about his decision to appoint Mueller until after he was hired, sources said. Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia investigation because Sessions recused himself.

In the eight days between Comey’s firing and Mueller’s hiring, the friends — who were both not Justice Department employees at the time — corresponded about Comey’s plight and likely strategized Comey’s “next moves” as one Justice Department insider labeled their correspondences, FBI insiders said.

Comey has never disclosed this publicly or in Congressional testimony, however, or during his scorched-earth anti-Trump book tour during media interviews. That’s because he was never asked to detail his interaction with Mueller in the days and hours after his firing. Comey testified on June 8, 2017 in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee about being sacked as FBI director and his role in the Trump Russia probe; yet not one lawmaker asked him if he had any contact with Mueller before he was appointed Special Counsel.

In retrospect, that certainly seems odd, especially since it was public knowledge Comey worked with Mueller after he was appointed Special Counsel to work out what he was allowed to say during Congressional inquiries. That move — Mueller coaching Comey on testimony — was quite unorthodox too, sources and critics have complained.

Was it Mueller who suggested — during the week after his firing — that Comey leak his memos to the New York Times with the purpose of getting himself appointed as Special Counsel to ‘investigate’ his old friend?

Now, a year after watching Mueller and his team’s behavior — which boasted the partisan anti-Trump text rantings of former Special Counsel investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — that seems more than plausible.

Comey and his ‘legal team’ worked with Mueller in concert to have Comey’s memos leaked to ultimately concoct a scheme to have his former FBI boss and friend put in charge of the Trump Russia investigation.

“These guys are career bureaucrats and very slick,” one FBI insider said. “They both know the system’s ins and outs and on top of that, they are friends.”

During his Senate testimony, Comey time and time again boasted Mueller was the right man for the job and the Russia investigation was in capable hands under Mueller. Comey’s testimony, at times, sounded like a glowing and cheesy Amazon.com review of Mueller’s prowess.

“Bob Mueller is one of these country’s great pros and I’m sure you’ll be able to work it out with him to run it in parallel,” a smitten Comey testified during the June 8 Senate proceedings.

The entire intelligence apparatus of the United States recognize Comey and Mueller are close friends and associates who have worked together since the early 1990s but Comey likely disagrees.

At least recently while the cameras were rolling. Comey, in fact, has worked diligently during his book tour in recent weeks to distance himself from Mueller. His description of his relationship with Mueller during a recent ABC News interview borders on preposterous.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you also said that the deputy attorney general, who’s now running the Russia investigation, you said what he put out in support of your firing was just a pretext, and the pretense then fell away. So can the American people have confidence in the man who’s supervising the Russia investigation?

JAMES COMEY: Yes, in this sense. First of all, the American people can have complete confidence in Robert Mueller. As I said– earlier, he and I are not close friends, but I’ve known him and watched his work–

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve had dinner, played golf?

JAMES COMEY: Yeah. I think we played golf once in our 25 years. And– sorry, and– and I’ve had dinner with him maybe once or twice. So I know him and I can s– and I– we’re friendly. But I know his work most of all. And I’ve watched it closely. He’s not on anybody’s side. He does not care about anything except the truth. And so they can have great confidence if Bob Mueller is let– left in place to do his job, he will find the truth.

If Comey and Mueller were not friends, why were they speaking within hours after Comey was fired as FBI director and before Mueller was hired as Special Prosecutor?

Did Comey contact Mueller before he called his wife? Who else did he talk with immediately after he was sacked? These are questions any solid investigator would ask. Or seek records to answer such queries.

Comey recounts the chartered DOJ flight back to Washington. D.C. minutes after he learned he was fired from the FBI.

Comey said he pulled out a bottle of red wine from his suitcase that he was bringing back from California and drank some of it from a paper cup while looking “out at the lights of the country I love so much as we flew home.”

As the plane neared Washington, Comey said he asked the pilots if he could sit with them in the cockpit because he wanted to watch them as they worked.

“So they put the headphones on me and I sat on a jump seat between the two pilots and watched them land along the Potomac,” Comey said. “And then we shook hands with tears in our eyes, and then I left and got driven home.”

Certainly the narrative movies are made of but reality is always more messy than Hollywood plot twists and melancholy endings.

Let’s see Mr. Comey’s and Mr. Mueller’s phone records and email between the time Comey was fired and Mueller was hired. Include the otherwise obscure records from the in-flight phones on the chartered Gulfstream.

Certainly those closely-guarded records are not part of any well-scripted happy ending for the embattled FBI.

But who in power in D.C. has the guts to do anything about it? Perhaps that is the bigger question.

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