Our powerful and secretive spy agencies were unleashed, and the Justice Department and the FBI is making it difficult for us and even Congress to get to the bottom of it.
We sued for one key record which led to the initiation of the counterintelligence investigation of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-02743)).
We had to sue because, as per usual, the DOJ and FBI both failed to respond to identical July 11, 2019, FOIA requests seeking access to a single record: “The Electronic Communication that initiated the counterintelligence investigation of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.”
Included with each FOIA request was an April 2018 letter from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (Intelligence Committee) to the Justice Department concerning a congressional subpoena for the same record.
The Justice Department initially provided the Intelligence Committee a heavily redactedcopy of the electronic communication it sought. Only after the Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena did the DOJ, on April 10, 2018, provide a less redacted version, which has not been released publicly.
In March 2018, based upon the information contained in the DOJ communication and other information, the Intelligence Committee produced a 150-page report, the summaryof which states: “We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”
In an interview after reviewing the Electronic Communication, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said, “We now know there was no official intelligence used to start this investigation.”
So it took us a long time to actually get this … electronic communication … What [were] the original reasons that the counterintelligence investigation was started? Now this is really important to us because the counterintelligence investigation uses the tools of our intelligence services that are not supposed to be used on American citizens, so we’ve long wanted to know … what intelligence … actually led to this investigation. So what we found now after the investigators have reviewed it is that in fact there was no intelligence.
The FBI and DOJ are still covering up the corruption behind the Obama administration’s illicit spying on President Trump. The original document behind the ‘counterintelligence’ spy operation against President Trump is key to exposing the corruption of Spygate. It is beyond belief the FBI and DOJ are still hiding it.
Judicial Watch Sues Over the International Conspiracy Against Trump
You probably aren’t familiar with FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta, but he played a critical role in getting the spurious Steele dossier to his superiors in the FBI in Washington, where it would be used as a pretext to spy on and try to destroy President Trump.
We’re now investigating his involvement in this abuse. We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit against the Department of Justice for records about Mr. Gaeta, who had been legal attaché in Rome (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-02722)).
We were forced to sue after the Justice Department and FBI failed to respond to our August 10, 2018, FOIA requests seeking:
- All records of communications, including emails (using [his or her] own name or aliases), text messages, instant chats and encrypted messages, sent to and from former FBI Legal Attaché in Rome, Special Agent Michael Gaeta, mentioning the terms “Trump”, “Clinton”, “Republican”, “Democrat”, and/or “conservatives.”
- All SF50s and SF52s of SA Michael Gaeta.
- All expense reports and travel vouchers submitted for SA Michael Gaeta.
Here is the background. On August 28, 2018, Bruce Ohr testified before a joint task force of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees that Christopher Steele, author of the Clinton-funded dossier, gave two reports from the dossier to Gaeta.
In the July 30 meeting, Chris Steele also mentioned something about the doping — you know, one of the doping scandals. And he also mentioned, I believe — and, again, this is based on my review of my notes — that he had provided Mr. Gaeta with two reports…”
The only thing I recall him mentioning is that he had provided two of his reports to Special Agent Gaeta.
Gaeta reportedly was authorized by then Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to meet with Steele at his office in London to receive reports from the dossier.
The purpose of the London visit was clear. Steele was personally handing the first memo in his dossier to Gaeta for ultimate transmission back to the FBI and the State Department.
For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele’s reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting. On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele’s firm, Orbis.
The FBI is covering up its role in the Russiagate hoax. We have had to fight ‘tooth and nail’ for every scrap of information about the illicit targeting of President Trump.
The Obama administration authorized a meeting abroad with a foreign spy working for Hillary Clinton to target Donald J. Trump. We will push hard in court to uncover the truth about this historic scandal.
Judicial Watch Demands Expanded Ethics Investigation of Rep. Ilhan Omar
In a July ethics complaint to the House of Representatives, Judicial Watch demanded an investigation of alleged marriage, immigration, tax, and other fraud related to the allegation that Rep. Omar had married her brother.
Turns out that this is just one aspect of Rep. Omar’s ethics problem.
Judicial Watch this week sent another complaint to the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics calling for further investigation of Rep. Ilhan Omar over new allegations that her alleged lover, Tim Mynett, received nearly $230,000 from her campaign since July 2018.
The new campaign finance allegations arise as a result of divorce filings alleging the affair between Mr. Mynett and Rep. Omar.
Rep. Omar obviously has significant ethics problems, and the House Ethics Committee must act to investigate the serious and substantial allegations against her. Frankly, there’s more than enough evidence for the Justice Department to initiate a criminal investigation of Rep. Omar.
Here is our supplemental complaint:
Re: Supplemental Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Ilhan Omar Concerning Possible Violations of Federal and State Law
Dear Chairman Skaggs,
Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, promotingtransparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.
This letter serves as a supplemental complaint to an official complaint that we filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) on July 22, 2019 (attached as Exhibit A), relative to potential felonies committed by Rep. Ilhan Omar involving tax fraud, marriage fraud, immigration fraud and perjury, principally involving Rep. Omar’s possible marriage to her biological brother, presumably as part of an immigration fraud scheme.
In addition to those potential violations of law, new disclosures arising from civil litigation raise still more troubling allegations, suggesting more potential violations of law or regulations by Rep. Omar that require investigation.
Specifically, in a divorce action, Dr. Beth Mynett of Washington, D.C., has accused her husband, political consultant Tim Mynett, of having an affair with Rep. Omar during which Mr. Mynett’s firm, E Street Consulting LLC, and Mr. Mynett directly, received nearly $230,000 from Rep. Omar’s campaign since July 2018.
According to Dr. Mynett’s divorce filings, “[O]n reflection, Defendant’s [Tim Mynett’s] more recent travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than with his actual work commitments…”
The bulk of the proceeds paid to E Street ($175,371.40) were funneled to E Streetafterthe November 2018 congressional elections, thereby calling into question the true purpose of the payments.
Additionally, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission, Ilhan for Congress campaign filings with the FEC indicate that eight disbursements were made to E Street Consulting totaling $21,546.94 for “travel expenses.” However, these expenses were not itemized, as required by FEC regulations.
House Rules are quite specific about the improper use of campaign funds for personal expenditures. The Code of Official Conduct of the House of Representatives states:
A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner—
(a) shall keep the campaign funds of such individual separate from the personal funds of such individual,’
(b) may not convert campaign funds to personal use in excess of an amount representing reimbursement for legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures; and
(c) except as provided in clause 1 (b) of rule XXIV, may not expend funds from a campaign account of such individual that are not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.
The House Rules of Conduct are also quite explicit about the seriousness with which Congress takes such violations as have allegedly occurred with respect to Rep. Omar’s conduct. The very opening of Rule XXIII, the Code of Official Conduct, states:
There is hereby established by and for the House the following code of conduct, to be known as the “Code of Conduct”. 1. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, Officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.
As suggested by Dr. Mynett’s court filings and the FEC complaint, these payments may represent campaign funds being used to allow Mr. Mynett to accompany Rep. Omar in her travels for Rep. Omar’s pleasure, and thereby constitute campaign funds being used for personal expenses, in addition to the expenses not being properly itemized — both serious violations of House rules and campaign finance regulations.
We call upon the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation into Rep. Omar’s conduct immediately for both these potential violations and those enumerated in our letter of July 22, 2019.
Respondent, Rep. Ilhan Omar, has been provided with an exact copy of the filed complaint and all attachments.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
You can let your congressmen know what you think the House needs to do about Rep. Omar’s mounting legal and ethics issues by contacting them at 202-225-3121.
Why Was Nellie Ohr Deleting Emails From Her Husband?
When the wife of a top Justice Department official tells her husband that she’s “deleting these emails now,” it may well be innocent. But when both of them are up to their necks in plotting against a president of the United States, this potential destruction of evidence needs to be investigated.
So, we have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit against the Justice Department and the FBI for records of an “analytical exchange” between German officials and top DOJ officials, including Bruce Ohr, concerning possible Russian influence. Our suit was prompted by our earlier discovery of one of Nellie Ohr’s emails advising Bruce Ohr that “I am deleting these emails now,” seemingly related to the “analytical exchange” (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice(No. 1:19-cv-02692)).
We sued after the Justice Department and FBI failed to respond to two separate May 17, 2019, FOIA requests seeking:
- All records of DOJ officials’ communications, notes, call logs, calendar entries, transcripts, audio-visual recordings and other records relating to an “analytical exchange” between a delegation of German officials and DOJ officials which occurred circa April 26, 2016 in Washington, DC.
- All records reflecting the identities and titles of the German officials who attended the analytical exchange on April 26, 2016.
In May 2019, we released records from the Justice Department that included an email exchange between Ohr, his top aide Lisa Holtyn, his wife Nellie Ohr who worked for Fusion GPS, and First Secretary at the German Embassy Stefan Bress. The email discusses a meeting with German analysts for an “analytical exchange” on topics including the “Impact of Russian influence operations in Europe (‘PsyOps/InfoWar’).”
According to the emails, Bress had initiated the offer of the meeting to which Holtyn responds, “I haven’t had a chance to confer with Bruce yet, but would certainly love to meet with the ‘A Team’!” Bruce Ohr says, “That time works for me as well.” Bress then provides the personal details/passport numbers of the German analysts who will be meeting with Holtyn and Ohr. Holtyn tells Bress that the Ohrs would like to host the German delegation for dinner and notes that Joe Wheatley and Ivana Nizich (a husband/wife team of DOJ Organized Crime prosecutors and friends of the Ohrs) would join them as well.
Included in that email exchange were records we uncovered revealing that Nellie Ohr informed her husband that she was deleting emails sent from his DOJ email account.
Here’s the crucial question: Was Bruce Ohr directing his wife Nellie Ohr, who worked for the Clinton spy ring at Fusion GPS, to delete emails about Russia? Our new lawsuit aims to uncover what was behind this possible obstruction of justice.
We are on top of this scandal with several smoking gun disclosures.
In August 2019, we released FBI 302 interviews with Bruce Ohr showing the efforts of the FBI, DOJ, and State Department to find allegedly incriminating material about President Trump through communications with Fusion GPS and Clinton-funded dossier author Christopher Steele. Also released were documents containing Russia-related emails sent from Nellie Ohr to Holtyn during the time Nellie Ohr worked with Fusion GPS.
In June, we uncovered documents showing the removal of Bruce Ohr from the position of Associate Attorney General in 2017; his transfer from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force to International Affairs in 2018; and that Ohr received a total of $42,520 in performance bonuses during the Trump/Russia investigation. Ohr’s bonus nearly doubled from $14,520 (received in November 2015) to $28,000 in November 2016.
In May, our FOIA lawsuit produced information from the DOJ showing a conversation between former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Kathleen Kavalec and Bruce Ohr discussing the targeting of Donald Trump with Steele dossier material. In discussing a meeting with the potential source for a Mother Jonesarticle accusing the Trump campaign of taking money from a Russian-American oil magnate, as well as Christopher Steele’s connection to that source, Kavalec emails Ohr citing the accusatory Mother Jones article. Ohr says, “I really hope we can get something going here.”
In March, we uncovered emails from Ohr showing that he remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant. The records show that Ohr served as a go-between for Steele by passing along information to “his colleagues” on matters relating to Steele’s activities. Ohr also set up meetings with Steele, regularly talked to him on the telephone and provided him assistance in dealing with situations Steele was confronting with the media.
Nobody is doing more than your Judicial Watch – or with as much success – to uncover the full truth of the worst corruption scandal in American history!
Judicial Watch Sues for Documents on FBI/CIA Informant in Trump Organization
All manner of buzzing starts when you poke the wasp nests of our spy agencies, especially when they’re up to no good. Here’s the story of one shady character who may have been setting a trap for Donald Trump.
We filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) suit against the Department of Justice seeking all records of communications, including FBI 302 interview reports and offer agreements, between former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office and Felix Sater. Sater is a former Trump organization official who was recently confirmed to be an informant for the FBI and CIA. Sater reportedly pushed a Russian real estate deal in 2016 while working at the Trump organization.
Sater reportedly “began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme.” It was Andrew Weissmann (of Mueller and Enron infamy) who, as supervising assistant U.S. attorney, signed the agreement that brought Sater on as a government informant. Federal prosecutors wrote a letter to Sater’s sentencing judge on August 27, 2009, in an effort to get him a lighter sentence: “Sater’s cooperation was of a depth and breadth rarely seen.”
Sater also was reportedly a CIA informant in the mid-2000s for the CIA, doing undercover work with Russian military and intelligence officers.
The Mueller report mentions Sater more than 100 times but fails to mention that he was an active undercover informant for the FBI/CIA for more than two decades. In 2017, Sater was the subject of two interviews conducted under a proffer agreement with Mueller’s office according to page 69 footnote 304 of Mueller’s report on his Russian collusion investigation.
We sued in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after Mueller’s office, a component of the DOJ, failed to respond to a June 12, 2019, FOIA request for FBI “302” interview reports of Sater that are referred to in the Mueller report; any offer agreements between Sater and the U.S. government; and records of communications between Sater and government employees (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice(No. 1:19-cv-02568)).
In a June 25, 2019 report, our chief investigative reporter, Micah Morrison, highlighted that:
Beginning in late 2015, Sater repeatedly tried to arrange for [Trump attorney Michael] Cohen and candidate Trump, as representatives of the Trump Organization, to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials and possible financing partners.
Though his proposal appears to have been rejected by the Trump campaign, Sater persisted. “Into the spring of 2016,” the Mueller Report notes, “Sater and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow.” Sater emails Cohen that he is trying to arrange a meeting between “the 2 big guys,” Putin and Trump.
Sater’s re-emergence “suggests the possibility of a more sinister counter-narrative: that someone may have been trying to lure Trump into a trap—a politically damaging entanglement with Moscow money,” Morrison wrote.
Sater reportedly testified for eight hours in a closed-door session before the Schiff-led intelligence committee on July 9, 2019. Sater previously said he believes the Trump Tower Moscow project was no different from other Trump real estate projects that were also in the works. “I have worked on probably five or six Trump Tower projects in the United States and at least that many internationally….”
What we want to know is this: Was a Russian real estate deal being pushed on the Trump Organization part of a set-up by an FBI/CIA informant? Our lawsuit will shed light on what could be another aspect of the Deep State abusive Spygate operation targeting President Trump.
Judicial Watch Court Victory against California Effort to Target Trump
We had a great victory in federal court this week! A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction at the request of Judicial Watch, President Trump, and other challengers to a new California law that attempted to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns.
California politicians, in their zeal to attack President Trump, passed a law that also unconstitutionally victimizes California voters and the Constitution. A federal court seems to agree and granted our request for a preliminary injunction that stops this scheme from interfering with the 2020 elections.
Under the law, known as the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, candidates who do not publicly disclose their tax returns for the past five years were barred from having their names printed on California’s primary ballots.
In our lawsuit challenging the requirement on behalf of four California voters—two Republicans, a Democrat, and an Independent—we argued that SB 27 imposes candidate qualifications beyond those allowed by the U.S. Constitution and impermissibly burdens a voters’ expressive constitutional and statutory rights.
The lawsuit claims violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Qualifications Clause, the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988 (Jerry Griffin et al. v. Alex Padilla (No. 2:19-cv-01477)).
Another victory for the Constitution – thanks to your support!
Until next week …